African King Beads


Another amazing strand of King Beads! These beads were manufactured in Italy during the early 19th century and sent to Africa for use as trade goods. Prior European explorers had noted that African chiefs -- or Kings -- valued a particular type of sand-cast bead called Bodum beads. Bodum beads were generally yellow with black cores and the European King Beads were made to look like these rare African beads. The imitations were a hit and European traders reported that Chiefs were often willing to trade gold for these beads, resulting in their also being known as traded-for-gold beads.åÊ
This is one of a group of extremely fine trade beads -- some of the nicest King Beads we have ever come across. These black beads have yellow, red and green glass trail decorations and are in truly excellent condition. A few of the beads have minor chips or a little wear, but none are in bad shape. A really nice strand that measures 30-31 inches long and each bead measures a little more than 20 mm in diameter.

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