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Components of beads: Natural

Beads can be made of many different materials. The earliest beads were made of a variety of natural materials which, after they were gathered, could be readily drilled and shaped. As humans became capable of obtaining and working with more difficult materials, those materials were added to the range of available substances. But nowadays synthetic materials were added.
In modern manufacturing, the most common bead materials are wood, plastic , glass , metal , and stone .

Natural materials

Beads are still made from many naturally occurring materials, both organic (i.e., of animal – or plant-based origin) and inorganic (purely mineral origin). However, some of these materials now routinely undergo some extra processing beyond mere shaping and drilling such as color enhancement via dyes or irradiation.
The natural organics include bone , coral , horn , ivory , seeds (such as tagua nuts), animal shell , and wood . For most of human history pearls were the ultimate precious beads of natural origin because of their rarity; the modern pearl-culturing process has made them far more common. Amber and jet are also of natural organic origin although both are the result of partial fossilization .
The natural inorganics include various types of stones , ranging from gemstones to common minerals , and metals . Of the latter, only a few precious metals occur in pure forms, but other purified
base metals may as well be placed in this category along with certain naturally occurring alloys such as electrum . There are also paper beads.

Types of beads

Beads can be divided into several types of overlapping categories based on different criteria such as the materials from which they are made, the process used in their manufacturing, the place or period of origin, the patterns on their surface, or their general shape. In some cases, such as millefiori and cloisonné beads, multiple categories may overlap in an interdependent fashion. For examples we have;

Bovis French seed bead

Fire mountain gems and beads

Assorted wooden beads and many others


Beads is a small usually round object made of glass, wood, metal,nut,shell, bone, seed pierced for stringing. Among primitive peoples, beads were worn for magical reasons more than for decorative purpose. Hence little variations was allowed in their shapes and materials. Beads range in size from under 1 millimetre (0.039 in) to over 1 centimetre (0.39 in) in diameter. A pair of beads made from Nassarius sea snail shells, approximately 100,000 years old, are thought to be the earliest known examples of jewellery. Beadwork is the art or craft of making things with beads. Beads can be woven together with specialized thread, strung onto thread or soft, flexible wire, or adhered to a surface (e.g. fabric, clay).