Vintage Beads

Written by Sarah Provost
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One of the wonderful things about creating your own beaded jewelry is that it ensures that your bracelet won't be seen on everybody's wrist. By using vintage beads, you can create pieces that show your individual style even more. Vintage beads are amazingly reasonable in price, and come in a wide variety of styles.

The vast majority of the vintage beads offered at internet stores are from the 1940s, '50s and '60s. For the most part, these styles were bold and chunky. There are flat discs, carved flower beads, and colors ranging from demure pale blue to psychedelic oranges and acid greens.

Vintage Swarovski Beads

If you'd like something a little dressier and more delicate, consider vintage Swarovski crystal beads. While many beads are difficult to date exactly, Swarovski beads have an article number that will tell you the year those beautiful pink givre beads were made. (Givre beads are clear crystal beads with an opaque color injected into them. They haven't been made for more than 50 years.)

Millefiori beads are also lovely for dressier looks. Millefiori means "a thousand flowers." These beads have a solid color in the body and what appear to be tiny glass flowers scattered on them. This technique uses bundles of small, colored-glass rods that are fused together to make the flower pattern, then cut crosswise and shaped into beads. This ancient technique produces an exquisite bead. Many colors and styles of vintage millefiori beads are available on the Web.

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