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Original Message:   Re: Hello all! 17th century trade bead necklace, possibly from Jamestown, Va.
Hello SkyStone, No expert here, but as previously stated the antique faceted cobalt blue Bohemian beads are associated with the Fur trade, mostly West Coast USA and Canada in the 1800's (and other areas). I guess the name "Russian blues" derives from the Russians carrying the beads into those areas and/or also fur Trading for the beads. One great resource are the photos of the actual Trade Bead Cards put out by the Bead Companies, that show the variations of size and colors available in various time periods. Places like Picard Bead Museum in Calif. have wonderful Collections of Trade Beads for sale in person and online and also a wealth of printed and photographed material on their website. They have a great "Bead Exhibit Archive Directory" online- and one section, Exhibit #11, deals with "Faceted Bohemian Beads". They also offer publications generally arranged by bead type that I highly recommend.

Related to the necklace in question, the beads, mostly all can be found in the "Faceted Bohemian Bead" section I link. Here are links to get you started. Yes the necklace was misrepresented, but it is a nice what I'd call "Mountain Man- Fur Trade" compilation that someone has put together on leather cord, with either real or reproduction coins (lots of fake coins out there). Glad to hear you asked before buying, and also glad to hear you had expert response & help too. These are nice beads in the right price range, but not at Jamestown 17th C. Prices, of course. Info on some Bohemian Faceted Beads: http://www.picardbeads.com/exhibit11.html http://www.picardbeads.com/exhibit11/exhibit/exru9.html http://www.picardbeads.com/exhibit11/exhibit/exru12.html Blown beads: http://www.picardbeads.com/exhibit11/exhibit/exru15.html http://www.picardbeads.com/exhibit11/exhibit/exru14.html

Also B.O.T.L. as there are Newer 1980's Mexican made (Henry Merle) faceted cobalt Russian beads turning up on strands and alone...Always look for signs of wear and tear, look inside the bead, and check how the beads are made. The "Russian Blues" usually have several layers you can see on-end (layer colors will vary- though not all have layers). The Old ones are hand faceted and it's irregular if you look closely. http://www.picardbeads.com/exhibit11/exhibit/exru87.html

Good luck and don't be discouraged. There is a lot to learn but you came to the right place. There are lots of helpful people in this Group, and they are very willing to share knowledge. There are people that intentionally deceive, and also those that just don't know any better. Anne

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