IDOB Glossary

An ever-growing and evolving glossary of beads and their country of origin.

AFGHANISTAN

LAPIS

This beautiful blue stone comes from the Sar-I-Sang mines of Afghanistan, and contains flecks of Pyrite, also known as “Fool’s Gold.”

ANTARCTICA

ANTARCTIC PENGUINS

There are four different species of penguin that spend their entire lives on the continent of Antarctica!

AUSTRALIA

MOOKAITE

These “semi-precious” stone beads are formed from hardened fossil sediment.

AUSTRALIA

OPAL

If you look at Opal from different angles, it reveals its “fire” which can range from purples & blues to oranges & pink!

AUSTRIA

SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL

These crystal beads are made using a special, top secret process that makes them sparkle like no other bead in the world!

Photo credit: Cousin DIY

BOTSWANA

BOTSWANA AGATE

These stones have layers of quartz and silica, made from volcanic activity that occurred over 200 million years ago!

BRAZIL

AMAZONITE

Amazonite is named after the Amazon River in Brazil where it was first believed to have been discovered thousands of years ago!

BRAZIL

CITRINE

In ancient times, this stone was thought to possess the power to hold sunlight!

BULGARIA

CERAMIC BEADS

Bulgarian ceramic beads are made using a variety of different techniques such as carving, stamping, and glazing.

Photo credit: Golem Design Studio

CANADA

LABRADORITE

This gray stone reveals flashes of blue light when held at certain angles!

Photo credit: Marycraft Creations

CHILE

DENIM LAPIS

This Lapis from Chile is a paler blue than that of Afghanistan, it also contains less Pyrite (Fool’s Gold).

CHINA

CLOISONNÉ BEADS

These copper beads are enameled in many different colors and they often showcase a floral design.

CHINA

PORCELAIN BEADS

Chinese porcelain beads are hand painted and best recognized in a classic cobalt blue and white color combination. 

CHINA

CINNABAR

Genuine Cinnabar is made of mercury, making it one of the most toxic minerals known to man! Now these are made from cast resin, so you can wear them safely.

CONGO

MALACHITE BEADS

This green stone forms above copper deposits found deep in the earth.

CUBA

SEEDS, CERAMIC, & BONE BEADS

The products of mother nature are very popular in this island nation!

CZECH REPUBLIC

GLASS BEADS

The Czech Republic is well known for producing both tiny, cut glass beads called “seed beads” as well as glass beads of other shapes and sizes.

Photo credit: Austin Bead Gallery

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

LARIMAR

This gorgeous blue stone can only be found in the Dominican Republic!

Photo credit: healingcrystals.com

EGYPT

FAIENCE SCARAB & MUMMY BEADS

Scarabs represent the circle of life in ancient Egyptian culture. These beads are made from sand and ground up quartz.

Photo credit: dazzlecity.net

FRANCE

PROSSER BEADS

These opaque beads are made out of a paste which is put in a mold and then heated with fire!

Photo credit: https://mdm-beadalot.blogspot.com

GERMANY

GERMAN GLASS BEADS

These vintage beads are over half a century old. Some of them are even made with real 22k gold!

GHANA

KROBO BEADS

Krobo beads are made from ground up bottles and glass scraps.

GREECE

CLAY BEADS

These clay beads are made by hand in the Greek islands.

Photo credit: Golden Age Beads

GUATEMALA

CLAY BEADS

Guatemalan clay beads were used by the Mayan people to weigh down threads while making hand-spun cotton.

Photo credit: Happy Mango Beads

GUATEMALA

JADEITE JADE

Jadeite Jade is the national stone of Guatemala.

HAWAII

PUKA SHELLS

The word “Puka” means “hole” in Hawaiian. The sea, sand, and sun create holes in these shells, turning them into beads!

INDIA

GLASS BEADS

Indian glass beads have been around for about 2,000 years! These beads are made by sculpting molten hot glass to create unique beads of all shapes & sizes.

INDONESIA

BALI SILVER BEADS

The silver working techniques used to create these beads are part of an ancient Balinese tradition.

INDONESIA

GLASS BEADS

Indonesia has been making glass beads for centuries.

Photo credit: Happy Mango Beads

INDONESIA

JAVA LAMPWORK GLASS BEADS

Handcrafted glass beads made on the island of Java!

INDONESIA – BORNEO

RUDRAKSHA

This bead is made out of a seed that is used as a prayer bead in Hinduism. glass beads made on the island of Java!

JAPAN

CERAMICS & PLASTICS

From ancient techniques to modern designs, these beads are unique and beautiful.

Photo credit: bsueboutiques.com

JAPAN

HANDMADE GLASS

These glass beads are made by hand, making each one unique and one of a kind!

Photo credit: bsueboutiques.com

JAPAN

SEED BEADS

Japanese seed beads are the most uniform and perfect beads of their kind. These tiny “seed” like beads are made from glass!

ITALY

HANDMADE GLASS BEADS

These beads are made from rods of colorful glass.

MEXICO

MILAGROS

Milagros means “Miracles” in Spanish. These charms are used as symbols or prayers for the wearer’s particular needs.

MOROCCO

FOSSIL SHARK TOOTH

Morocco has an abundance of shark teeth and dinosaur fossils!

Photo credit: kalifano.com

MYANMAR

BURMA JADE BEADS

In ancient times, Jade was considered to be almost as valuable as gold!

Photo credit: Celestial Awakenings Crystals

NEPAL

INLAID METAL BEADS

Turquoise and coral bits are embedded into these stunning metal beads.

NEW ZEALAND

CARVED WOOD & JADE

In Maori culture, symbols like spirals called “Koru” are carved in wood, jade, and even bone!

Photo credit: kiwitreasure.com

NORWAY

PUFFIN BEADS

Norway is home to the Arctic Puffin which is one of the smallest of the Puffin species.

Photo credit: The Crafty Bead

PALESTINE

HEBRON GLASS

Hebron Glass was traditionally made with sand and sodium carbonate from the Dead Sea!

Photo credit: earthlyadornments.com

PERU

PERUVIAN CERAMIC BEADS

These colorful beads have so much detail, they are tiny works of art!

Photo credit: Tumi Fairtrade Beads

PHILIPPINES

SHELL, CORAL, & STONE

Products from nature, specifically from the sea, are a big hit in this country with over 7,500 islands!

RUSSIA

CHAROITE

This stone gets its name from the Russian word “Chary” (скупой) which means “charms” or “magic.”

Photo credit: cooltools.us

SOUTH AFRICA

BLUE LACE AGATE

This beautiful light blue stone has subtle stripes made of microscopic crystals!

TAHITI

PEARLS

This beautiful pearl is formed from the Black Lip Oyster.

TANZANIA

TANZANITE BEADS

This beautiful stone only occurs in Tanzania, in a volcanic basin called Merlani.

THAILAND

KAREN HILL TRIBE SILVER

Each and every piece of Hill Tribe silver is made by hand, making each bead completely one of a kind!

Photo credit: beads.co.uk

TIBET

DZI BEADS

Dzi means “sky.” Some of these beads are valued at more than one million dollars!

Photo credit: Momo Duke Shop

TUNISIA

RED CORAL

Red Coral grows in the depths of the Mediterranean Sea in dark caverns or crevices. 

TURKEY

EYE BEADS

Protective beads also known as “Evil Eye” beads.

Photo credit: enjoyistanbul.com

REPUBLIC OF CÔTE d’IVOIRE

AFRICAN BRASS BEADS

These metal beads are particularly special because each one has its own unique mold that can be used only once, making each bead one of a kind!

URAGUAY

AMETHYST

This special stone is created when gas bubbles from lava become trapped in volcanic rocks allowing crystals to form! Did you know a crystal can grow over 6 feet long?!

U.S.A.

ARIZONA TURQUOISE BEADS

The world’s most beautiful Turquoise comes from right here in Arizona! It is often used in Native American jewelry.

Photo credit: rincontrading.com

U.S.A.

RHODE ISLAND PEWTER

This is where metal casting in America first began!

Photo credit: lot-art.com

ZUNI

BEAR FETISHES

In Zuni culture hand carved bear fetishes are believed to have magic healing powers

Photo credit: Joe Wilcox Indian Den

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