In the early 1970’s, beautiful antique glass beads were worn as objects of adornment by hippies in Europe and America. The beads were exceptionally rare and their origins were a mystery. They were believed to have come from the small town of Guelmime in southern Morocco, but travellers to the town were told their source was somewhere beyond the Sahara Desert in Africa where they were a highly valued form of trading currency, hence the name, Trade Beads.
A bead is a small decorative object that can be made from bone, horn, seeds, ivory, metal, shell, pearl, coral, gemstones, clay, glass, wood, and many other materials. Beads have existed since the earliest pre-historic times. Roughly carved beads made from sea snail shells are thought to be the earliest known examples of jewellery.