However you can try several odor tests to try to nail down the material.
First, run the beads under very hot water ( not boiling) until they are heated up. Sniff the beads immediately to detect the odor. New polyester resin will smell faintly of styrene, as will polystyrene resin. Bakelite has the odor of phenol, a musty, medicinal odor. There are some new prayer beads being made from Bakelite type resins on the market, but they are normally finely machined and smaller. It helps if you have some known beads on hand for the odor comparison.
You can do a similar test by heating a sewing needle to red hot and plunging it into the Bead in an inconspicuous spot like inside a hole. Be careful sniffing the fumes. If the hot needle does not penetrate easily into the bead it is most likely either a cross linked polyester resin or a phenolic resin (Bakelite).
It does not appear to me that there is any significant oxidation on these, but there again it’s hard to tell from pictures.
Let us know what you find out!
With clean hands (no perfume), rub the beads against the heel of your other hand for a minute. then smell them. Since the great proportion of older similar-looking beads were composed from cast phenolic plastics, they will exude a common odor—presenting the smell of carbolic acid. (You can get the same odor by rubbing the black Bakelite handle on a Revereware pan—or any old pan with Bakelite handles.)
If these beads were amber (which they are not), rubbing them for a minute or longer will cause them exude a pleasant piney aromatic aroma.
However, if they make no smell, they are probably a different plastic. You then have to try the brine test, and probably the hot-point test. All this is described in-detail at my online Group devoted to amber:
Good luck. Jamey