Your path =Home>Trade Beads>Bohemia > Fake Trade Beads

Antique Venetian Beads in Perfect Condition Not

In 1992 two people sent me some of these beads for Bead Identification Certificates. They were sold for several thousands of dollars a strand as "old Venetian trade beads in very good condition." I did not then know what they were, but I knew they weren't that (see below). Fortunately, the dealers in both cases refunded the money after the buyers showed them our Certificates. More notes follow the pictures

Sometimes called the "French Ambassador Bead," there is neither rhyme nor reason for this ascription. No one has identified either the tribe or the Ambassador that was supposed to be in on the deal.
Each story differs, some saying Native Americans gave this to an ambassador and others say it was the other way around.




Known to some as the "Lewis and Clark Bead." They never saw this bead. See here.



The "Skull and Crossbones Bead."
 I have never seen this bead, nor do
I know anyone reliable who has.
It is not reported anywhere. It seems to be a figment of an overactive imagination.



Called "Ghost Bead" by American collectors. It was meant to be a floral representation. When the bead (it is quite scarce) was made Casper wasn't invented and no one thought of ghosts looking like this.

I knew the beads were not old Venetian because: 1. They are heavy in lead, 2. The red is selenium and the yellow fluoresces, 3. They were matted by being dipped in hydrofluoric acid and 4. They have a pinkish perforation deposit (this can be scraped out).

At first I said they were modern and "may be made in the United States or Europe." I was right, as I found out a couple of years later. They were made by a now-deceased Czech beadmaster on commission for a store in Germany. They were sold as reproductions and the storeowner was horrified that they were being peddled as old beads.


Small Bead Businesses | Beading & Beadwork | Ancient Beads | Trade Beads
Beadmaking & Materials | Bead Uses | Researching Beads | Beads and People
Center for Bead Research | Book Store | Free Store | Bead Bazaar
Shopping Mall | The Bead Auction | Galleries | People | Events
The Bead Site Home | Chat Line | Contact Us | Site Search Engine | FAQ