Beautiful dark cobalt blue strand of Russian Blue trade beads. Russian Blues is the trade name given to these faceted light and dark blue beads that were reputedly traded by Russian fur traders in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska in the 19th century. These particular beads are from the African trade, made in Bohemia, and are out of the estate of a noted bead researcher and member of the Washington DC Bead Society.
These particular Russian Blues are of a somewhat unusual variety. While the types of beads very, most are a dark blue that features facets that are considerably wider than the typical Russian Blue strand, and are smaller -- at about 8 mm in diameter. The center of the strand is comprised of a mix of Russian Blues and tumbled tile beads, which while they look like Russian Blues are actually less desirable -- but still quite pretty. The blue coloring of the Russian Blues is really gorgeous -- particularly when held up to the light!
Strand measures approximately 26 inches long. The largest beads measure approximately 10 mm in diameter.
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