Friday, September 16, 2011

Recognize this Bead????? Mystery Solved!

vintage blue glass bead
Anybody out there recognize this bead... how old? where made? (Click to enlarge!)
Answers revealed at end of this post.

Here's what I know about it:
  1. made of transparent, medium blue glass
  2. round in shape
  3. about 14 mm in diameter
  4. probably a lampwork bead, because I can see bits of what seems to be kiln slip in the hole
  5. seemingly hand ground on the ends
  6. seemingly hand engraved, carved or etched because the cut designs are slightly different on each of the 13 beads I have
  7. at least 25 years old because that's how long I've had them
  8. carved design (three circles on each bead) looks a little like the Chinese symbol for longevity
  9. although I don't recall how (or from whom) they came into my possession, I do recall being told they were "vintage"
  10. I think I was told they were "vintage Japanese," but am not sure about that

vintage blue glass bead, hole
I need to know about these beads for a book I'm currently writing, especially how old they are and where they were made. Anybody know the answers? Educated guesses are OK. If you know somebody who might know, please pass the link to this post on to them. Thanks!

vintage blue glass bead, hole
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Sept. 18, 2011 ~ Origins of mystery bead are revealed, thanks to Robert K Liu, founder and editor of Ornament Magazine, who wrote: These are lapidary-cut or ground Chinese Qing Dynasty beads, at most probably early 20th C.

Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions about who to contact, especially Beady Ann, who suggested contacting Dr. Liu.


  1. Beady Ann9:08 AM

    Robert Lui, editor of Ornament Magazine, is very knowledgeable about old beads. He also knows lots of bead experts. You could email him at:

  2. Lyric Kindard or Larkin Van Horn might also know. Google their sites. Both are very accessable.

  3. Russ Nobbs at Rings & Things might know - and knows a lot of knowedgeable people.

    It's a shame the American Bead Museum closed down.

  4. I wish I could point you in the right direction, but I'm pretty new to the hobby.

    I happened across your blog during my search for good beading blogs and I like what I see so far.

    If you do find out where you got that bead or how to find more like it I'd love to know.

    Good luck on your search, and good luck with your book.

  5. I just read one of your old posts about doing a show years ago. I am getting ready for my FIRST show and it gave me some good info - I know now times might keep me from selling as much as I would like. I found this old post at just the right time. I also wanted to say I LOVE your pins and wire work - beautiful.

  6. Anonymous11:40 AM

    Wow...that is just too cool! That is one gorgeous bead to say the least and would love to fall into some really old ones like that :)

  7. what a beautiful bead.....glad you solved the mystery! i am having lots of fun exploring your blog :)

  8. If you have a English language website/blog about jewellery/accesories you can make free self-advertising here

    thanks :)

  9. I just read one of your old posts about doing a show years ago. I am getting ready for my FIRST show and it gave me some good info - I know now times might keep me from selling as much as I would like.

  10. What's the new book Robin! Something to look forward to! miss seeing you!

  11. Not only is your mystery intriguing and the solution equally as interesting, and not only am I waiting for your new book with great anticipation, I love the fact that "Beady Ann" was the one who pointed you in the right direction.

    You see, I work under the name "ArtiZen Beads" but my husband, Eric, would like nothing better than for me to change my business name to "Beady Amin!" I'm going to go and show him this post now, and tell him that Beady Ann has too close a name to his suggestion and to drop it now - lol!


Thanks you for joining the discussion on this post today!