Tag Archives: terminology

What is a Bead?

It’s occurred to me with all these posts about beads, I have yet to write a post that actually defines what a bead is. That’s a bit surprising, given how often people ask me this question, so here’s a post on … Continue reading

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Bead Design: Take 2

You may remember that back in October, I started to write a series of posts about documenting the designs of polychrome beads. I started to describe my system, and then promptly fell into one of the busiest three months of … Continue reading

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Alert: Beads Can Change Color

Yes, you read that correctly: beads can change color. I’ve touched on this a little in previous posts, but let’s really look at the issue here. I don’t mean that the color changes depending on the light, like I talked … Continue reading

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What Color Is That? Part 3

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking about determining the color of a bead. We’ve talked about the primary color and then the secondary color, and then I took a break because of the holidays. But now we’re back … Continue reading

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What Color Is That? Part 2

Last week, I talked a lot about how to talk about bead colors. The first step is figuring out the primary color of the bead, which can be incredibly straightforward or incredibly not straightforward. Assuming you’ve figured that out, let’s … Continue reading

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What Color Is That? Part 1

I’ve talked a lot about color in the last week or so, and it’s only going to increase. So here’s the first of several posts on how to actually talk about the color of a bead. I’m going to start … Continue reading

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Melon (Gadrooned) Beads

Gadrooned beads (most commonly known as melon beads) are another style that has been around for millennia. Melon beads are beads that have convex decorations around the edge that make it look a bit like a melon. Archaeologists tend to … Continue reading

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Indo-Pacific Beads

The term “Indo-Pacific” was coined by Peter Francis Jr., who defined them as small, drawn, monochrome, glass beads. This is almost identical to the definition of seed beads (small, monochrome, glass beads), with the very important distinction that IP beads are drawn. Continue reading

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Bead Materials

Beads can be made from a wide range of materials, from glass to plastic to shell to painted macaroni. Here’s a list of materials of beads we find in the archaeological record: Continue reading

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Visual Classification of Beads

Beads come in all shapes, sizes, colours, and materials. They can be manufactured in a number of ways and have any combination of decorations and alterations to their form. So few people study glass beads that there is no standard method for discussing or classifying them. Continue reading

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