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Original Message:   "Burma White Hearts"
Hi Linda, Maybe you are recalling the term "Burma White Hearts" rather than Burmese.

There are a lot of marketing names for trade beads - also referred to as "campfire names" by at least one person. The origin of the names in most cases is not known, and from what I gather, are just used to conveniently identify, buy and sell certain beads. Some names are descriptive of the design, such as "gift box" for beads that have crossed trailed designs that make them look like, well, a gift box. Others like "French ambassador" appear to have zero relationship to either the French or an ambassador, but stories have been created to account for the name anyway.

I have only been around collectible beads for 10 years but I have seen large size white heart beads, mostly with irregular size and shape and 10 mm or more in diameter, referred to as "Burma white hearts". They appear to have been heated after slicing off the cane which makes a lot of them slumped and out of round.

They come in various shades of red, and also orange. These are the ones I'm familiar with and there may be others. As far as I can tell, the distinctive feature of the "Burma white hearts" is their size. They seem to be some of the largest two - layer drawn beads from the hey-days of European glass bead-making.

PS I have no idea why they are called "Burma".

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