Trade Beads & Ethnic Beads: Beads that travel around the world
Trade beads were exchanged with people who did not use currency and their use continued while currencies developed. Europeans got them from Venice, Holland, and Bohemia. Millefiori, chevron, striped melons, feather trade, and eye beads were made specifically for African trade. Other trade beads from India were distributed through Arab traders, but the Venetians dominated production of trade beads, particularly those used in Africa. Ethnic beads are usually produced by indigenous peoples with a of history of bead production, using traditional methods. We have antique, vintage and contemporary beads, contemporary beads are marked as contemporary or reproductions.