African trade beads have been worn and collected for decades worldwide. Their distinctive look and feel makes them so very special, particularly because each bead is hand made. The original trade beads were made, worn and traded starting in the 15th century, used as a type of currency for goods and services.
Many of the beads that were traded centuries ago were actually made throughout Europe and Asia and then carried to Africa to trade for goods and services. Our vintage and newer selection of 25 beads were all created by hand in Africa between the mid-20th century and today.
The sandy beads are actually made of crude glass, although there are some rough clay beads included, as well as brass, bauxite and copper. The shiny, colorful glass beads resemble beads from India, but are indeed African. You may also find horn an bone beads in your selection.
Each tin of 25 measures 1-1/2 inch in diameter and 3/4 inch high and features a glass lid so you can peek inside before opening the tin. The beads range from tiny to about 1 inch long.
We put this selection together from our own collection of authentic African Trade Beads.