A selection of glass beads
Merovingian bead
Trade beads, 18th century
Trade beads, 18th century
Cloisonné beads
Swarovski crystal beads (6 mm–8 mm), pendant 3 cm
Pressed glass beads (matte finish with an AB coating)
A box of assorted beads
Dichroic beads (10 mm)
Furnace glass beads
Carved Cinnabar lacquer beads
Bead, depicting a pomegranate, dated to the Assyrian Empire of the 8th century BCE.
Antique Celtic pearl, Gallic, stone

Small, decorative object that is formed in a variety of shapes and sizes of a material such as stone, bone, shell, glass, plastic, wood or pearl and with a small hole for threading or stringing.

- Bead

271 related topics



Non-crystalline, often transparent amorphous solid, that has widespread practical, technological, and decorative use in, for example, window panes, tableware, and optics.

A glass building facade
The amorphous structure of glassy silica (SiO2) in two dimensions. No long-range order is present, although there is local ordering with respect to the tetrahedral arrangement of oxygen (O) atoms around the silicon (Si) atoms.
Microscopically, a single crystal has atoms in a near-perfect periodic arrangement; a polycrystal is composed of many microscopic crystals; and an amorphous solid such as glass has no periodic arrangement even microscopically.
Roman cage cup from the 4th century BC
Windows in the choir of the Basilica of Saint Denis, one of the earliest uses of extensive areas of glass (early 13th-century architecture with restored glass of the 19th century)
Quartz sand (silica) is the main raw material in commercial glass production
A Pyrex borosilicate glass measuring jug
A high-strength glass-ceramic cooktop with negligible thermal expansion.
A CD-RW (CD). Chalcogenide glass form the basis of rewritable CD and DVD solid-state memory technology.
Samples of amorphous metal, with millimeter scale
Robotized float glass unloading
Glass blowing
The Shard glass skyscraper, in London.
Part of German stained glass panel of 1444 with the Visitation; pot metal coloured glass of various colours, including white glass, black vitreous paint, yellow silver stain, and the "olive-green" parts are enamel. The plant patterns in the red sky are formed by scratching away black paint from the red glass before firing. A restored panel with new lead cames.
A piece of volcanic obsidian glass
Moldavite, a natural glass formed by meteorite impact, from Besednice, Bohemia
Tube fulgurites
Trinitite, a glass made by the Trinity nuclear-weapon test
Libyan desert glass
Iron(II) oxide and chromium(III) oxide additives are often used in the production of green bottles.
Cobalt oxide produces rich, deep blue glass, such as Bristol blue glass.
Different oxide additives produce the different colours in glass: turquoise (Copper(II) oxide), purple (Manganese dioxide), and red (Cadmium sulfide).
Red glass bottle with yellow glass overlay
Amber-coloured glass
Four-colour Roman glass bowl, manufactured circa 1st century B.C.
Wine glasses and other glass tableware
Dimpled glass beer pint jug
Cut lead crystal glass
A glass decanter and stopper
A Vigreux column in a laboratory setup
A Schlenk line with four ports
Graduated cylinders
Erlenmeyer flask
The Portland Vase, Roman cameo glass, about 5–25 AD
Byzantine cloisonné enamel plaque of St Demetrios, c. 1100, using the senkschmelz or "sunk" technique
The Royal Gold Cup with basse-taille enamels on gold; weight 1.935 kg, late 14th-century. Saint Agnes appears to her friends in a vision.
The Reichsadlerhumpen, enamelled glass with the double-headed eagle of the Holy Roman Empire, and the arms of the various territories on its wings, was a popular showpiece of enamelled glass in the German lands from the 16th century on.
thumb|alt=white jar with fine stripes|Filigree style Venetian glass jar
Émile Gallé, Marquetry glass vase with clematis flowers (1890-1900)
Glass vase by art nouveau artist René Lalique
Clara Driscoll Tiffany lamp, laburnum pattern, c. 1910
A glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly, "The Sun" at the "Gardens of Glass" exhibition in Kew Gardens, London
Modern stained glass window

The earliest known glass objects were beads, perhaps created accidentally during metalworking or the production of faience.


Beadwork in progress on a bead weaving loom. Black, orange and transparent seed beads are being used to make a bracelet.
A string of blue faience beads from north Lisht, a village in the Memphite region of Egypt, c. 1802–1450 B.C.
Polar bear made of pearl beads, an example of a modern beadwork project
Modern beaded flowers, yellow made in the French beading technique and pink in the Victorian beading technique.
Russian Countess Olga Orlova-Davydova wearing a heavily beaded kokoshnik at the Masquerade Costume Ball of 1903
Examples of contemporary Native American beadwork
An elephant mask decorated with glass beads by the Bamileke people in Bandjoun, Cameroon c. 1910–1930

Beadwork is the art or craft of attaching beads to one another by stringing them onto a thread or thin wire with a sewing or beading needle or sewing them to cloth.


Glasswork technique which produces distinctive decorative patterns on glassware.

Vase, 1872 V&A Museum no. 1188-1873
Millefiori beads, 1920s
Roman era millefiori style bowls in Museum Höfli, Bad Zurzach
Mosaic glass bowl fragment, Roman, late 1st century B.C.– early 1st century A.D., Metropolitan Museum of Art
Venetian millefiori bead
Millefiori glass pendant

The manufacture of mosaic beads can be traced to Ancient Roman, Phoenician and Alexandrian times.


Jewellery or jewelry consists of decorative items worn for personal adornment, such as brooches, rings, necklaces, earrings, pendants, bracelets, and cufflinks.

A gold, diamonds and sapphires red guilloché enamel "Boule de Genève", a type of pendant watch used as an accessory for women. An example of an object which is functional, artistic/decorative, marker of social status or a symbol of personal meaning.
Hair ornament, an Art Nouveau masterpiece; by René Lalique; circa 1902; gold, emeralds and diamonds; Musée d'Orsay (Paris)
A diamond solitaire engagement ring
An example of gold plated jewellery.
Khmissa amulet in silver
Oldest golden artifacts in the world from Varna necropolis – grave offerings on exposition in Varna Museum
Headdress decorated with golden leaves; 2600–2400 BC; gold, lapis lazuli and carnelian; length: 38.5 cm; from the Royal Cemetery at Ur; Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City)
Openwork hairnet; 300–200 BC; gold; diameter: 23 cm, diameter of the medallion: 11.4 cm; unknown provenance (said to be from Karpenissi (Greece)); National Archaeological Museum (Athens)
The Great Cameo of France; second quarter of the 1st century AD; five-layered sardonyx; 31 x 26.5 cm; Cabinet des médailles (Paris)
Byzantine collier; late 6th–7th century; gold, emeralds, sapphires, amethysts and pearls; diameter: 23 cm; from a Constantinopolitan workshop; Antikensammlung Berlin (Berlin, Germany)
Cameo; 16th century; sardonyx; Cabinet des Médailles (Paris)
Russian earring; 19th century; silver, enamel and red glass beads; overall: 6.4 x 2.6 cm; Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland)
Breastplate with a peacocks; René Lalique; circa 1898–1900; gold, enamels, opals and diamonds; Calouste Gulbenkian Museum (Lisboa, Portugal)
Necklace with Shiva's family; late 19th century; gold inlaid with rubies, a diamond Rudraksha beads (elaeo carpus seeds) and silver back plate on clasp; overall: 38.1 cm; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, US)
Moche ear jewellery; 3rd–7th century; gold, turquoise, sodalite and shell; diameter: 8 cm; Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City)
Bai-De-Schluch-A-Ichin or Be-Ich-Schluck-Ich-In-Et-Tzuzzigi (Slender Silversmith) "Metal Beater," Navajo silversmith, photo by George Ben Wittick, 1883
Gold and gemstone contemporary jewellery design
Male hand with modern silver rings, one with a tribal motive.
Indian actress Shraddha Kapoor showcasing modern Indian-style jewellery
Types of masonic collar jewels
A Padaung girl in Northern Thailand
The Oulun Koru jewellery shop at the Kirkkokatu street in Oulu, Finland
Pair of Maya earflare frontals; 3rd–6th century; jade (jadeite); height: 5.1 cm; Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City)
Pendant; circa 1069 BC; gold and turquoise; overall: 5.1 x 2.3 cm; Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland)
String of beads; 3650–3100 BC; lapis lazuli (the blue beads) and travertine (the white beads) (Egyptian alabaster); length: 4.5 cm; by Naqada II or Naqada III cultures; Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City)
String of beads; 3300–3100 BC; carnelian, garnet, quartz and glazed steatite; length: 20.5 cm; by Naqada III culture Metropolitan Museum of Art
Armlet with sun symbol; 16th-13th century BC (late Bronze Age); bronze; German National Museum (Nürnberg)
Necklace; probably 2600–1300 BC; carnelian, bone and stone; from Saruq Al Hadid (the United Arab Emirates)
Pectoral (chest jewellery) of Tutankhamun; 1336–1327 BC (Reign of Tutankhamun); gold, silver and meteoric glass; height: 14.9 cm (5.9 in); Egyptian Museum (Cairo)
Signet ring; 664–525 BC; gold; diameter: 3 × 3.4 cm; British Museum (London)
Pectoral and necklace of Princess Sithathoriunet; 1887–1813 BC; gold, carnelian, lapis lazuli, turquoise, garnet & feldspar; height of the pectoral: 4.5 cm (1.8 in); Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City)
Sumerian necklace beads; 2600–2500 BC; gold and lapis lazuli; length: 54 cm; Metropolitan Museum of Art
Necklace; 2600–2500 BC; gold and lapis lazuli; length: 22.5 cm; Royal Cemetery at Ur (Iraq); Metropolitan Museum of Art
Pair of earrings with cuneiform inscriptions, 2093–2046 BC; gold; Sulaymaniyah Museum (Sulaymaniyah, Iraq)
Sumerian necklaces and headgear discovered in the royal (and individual) graves of the Royal Cemetery at Ur, showing the way they may have been worn, in British Museum (London)
The Bee Pendant, an iconic Minoan jewel; 1700–1600 BC; gold; width: 4.6 cm; from Chrysolakkos (gold pit) complex at Malia; Archaeological Museum of Heraklion (Heraklion, Greece)<ref>{{cite book|last1=Smith|first1=David Michael|title=Ancient Greece Pocket Museum|date=2017|publisher=Thames and Hudson|isbn=978-0500519585|page=79|language=en}}</ref><ref>Nelson, E. C., Mavrofridis, G., & Anagnostopoulos, I. T. (2020). "Natural History of a Bronze Age Jewel Found in Crete: The Malia Pendant". The Antiquaries Journal, 1–12. {{doi|10.1017/S0003581520000475}}</ref>
Mycenaean necklace; 1400–1050 BC; gilded terracotta; diameter of the rosettes: 2.7 cm, with variations of circa 0.1 cm, length of the pendant 3.7 cm; Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City)
The Ganymede Jewellery; circa 300 BC; gold; various dimensions; provenance unknown (said to have been found near Thessaloniki (Greece)); Metropolitan Museum of Art
Necklace; circa 200 BC; gold, moonstone, garnet, emerald, cornelian, baroque pearl and banded agate; overall: 39.4 cm; Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland)
The Vulci set of jewelry; early 5th century; gold, glass, rock crystal, agate and carnelian; various dimensions; Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City)
Earring in the form of a dolphin; 5th century BC; gold; 2.1 × 1.4 × 4.9 cm; Metropolitan Museum of Art
Bulla with Daedalus and Icarus; 5th century BC; gold; 1.6 × 1 × 1 cm; Walters Art Museum (Baltimore)
Earring; gold and silver; 1.5 × 0.4 × 1.4 cm; Metropolitan Museum of Art
Cameo portrait of the Emperor Augustus; 41–54 AD; sardonyx; 3.7 × 2.9 × 0.8 cm; Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City)
Bracelet; 1st–2nd century AD; gold-mounted crystal and sardonyx; length: 19.69 cm; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles)
Necklace with a medallion depicting a goddess; 30–300; green glass (the green beads) and gold; length: 43.82 cm; Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Openwork hairnet with the head of Medusa; 200–300; gold; Archaeological Museum of Agrigento (Agrigento, Italy)
The Eagle-shaped fibulae of Alovera; 5th century; gold, bronze and glass (imitation of garnet); height: 11.8 cm, width: 5.9 cm; from Guadalajara (Spain); National Archaeological Museum (Madrid, Spain)
Shoulder-clasps from Sutton Hoo; early 7th century; gold, glass & garnet; length: 12.7 cm; British Museum (London)
Pair of Byzantine earrings; 7th century; gold, pearls, glass and emeralds; 10.2 x 4.5 cm; Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland)
Front of a temple pendant with two birds flanking a tree of life; 11th–12th century; cloisonné enamel & gold; overall: 5.4 x 4.8 x 1.5 cm; made in Kyiv (Ukraine); Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City)
The Dragonfly brooch; by René Lalique; circa 1897–1898; gold, vitreous enamel, chrysoprase, chalcedony, moonstone and diamond; height: 23 cm, width: 26.5 cm; Calouste Gulbenkian Museum (Lisboa, Portugal)
Necklace; by René Lalique; 1897–1899; gold, enamel, opals and amethysts; overall diameter: 24.1 cm; Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City)
The Snakes brooch; by René Lalique; gold and enamel; Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
Fluted ring with a dragon head (huan); circa 475 BC; jade (nephrite); overall: 9.1 cm; Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland)
Ornament with flowers and grapes design; 1115–1234; jade; Shanghai Museum (China)
Xin 心 shaped jewelry; 1368–1644; gold, ruby, pearl and other gemstones; about the size of an adult human's palm; Dingling (Beijing, China)
Hat ornament; 18th–19th century; gold, gilded metal, kingfisher feathers, glass and semiprecious stones; various dimensions; Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City)
Pendant probably with Siddha; 8th–9th century; copper alloy; 8.89 x 7.93 x .31 cm; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles)
Earring with Vishnu riding Garuda; circa 1600; gold set with jewels and semi-precious stones; overall: 2.6 cm; from Nepal; Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland)
Earring with four-armed Vishnu riding Garuda with Nagas (serpent divinities); circa 1600; repousse gold with pearls; overall: 3.6 cm; from Nepal; Cleveland Museum of Art
Comb with Vishnu adored by serpents; 1750–1800; ivory with traces of paint; 6.99 x 7.94; from Nepal; Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Olmec seated shaman in ritual pose-shaped pendant; 9th–5th century BC; serpentine and cinnabar; height: 18.5 cm; Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas, Texas)<ref>{{cite book |last1=Fortenberry|first1=Diane|title=The Art Museum |date=2017|publisher=Phaidon|isbn=978-0714875026|page=229|language=en}}</ref>
Pendant with 2 bat-head warriors who carry spears; 11th–16th century; gold; overall: 7.62 cm (3 in.); from the Chiriqui Province (Panama); Metropolitan Museum of Art
Double-headed serpent; 1450–1521; Spanish cedar wood (Cedrela odorata), turquoise, shell, traces of gilding & 2 resins are used as adhesive (pine resin and Bursera resin); height: 20.3 cm, width: 43.3 cm, depth: 5.9 cm; British Museum (London)
Māori hei-tiki; 1500–1800; jade (nephrite), abalone shell and pigments; from the New Zealand; Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac (Paris)
Hei-tiki; 18th century; nephrite and haliotis shell; 10.9 cm; from the New Zealand; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles)
Hawaiian pendant; 18th–19th century; whalebone; height: 6 cm, width, 3.8 cm; Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City)
Breast Ornament (civa vonovono); circa 1850; whale ivory, pearl shell and fiber; height: 12.7 cm, diameter: 17.78 cm; from Fiji; Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Gemstones and similar materials such as amber and coral, precious metals, beads, and shells have been widely used, and enamel has often been important.

Precious coral

Common name given to a genus of marine corals, Corallium.

The Queen Farida of Egypt red coral parure by Ascione, made in 1938 in Naples, Coral Jewellery Museum
Chinese coral sculpture
6-Strand Necklace, Navajo (Native American), ca. 1920s, Brooklyn Museum
Coral earrings.
Red coral precious raw gemstone

Due to its softness and opacity, coral is usually cut en cabochon, or used to make beads.


Magatama, dating from Jōmon period to 8th century
Agate magatama, Kobe Archaeology Center (神戸市埋蔵文化財センター)
Museum housing artifacts of magatama production, Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine, Osaka
Necklace of jade magatama from a Japanese burial
Magatama from the Kofun period
Artist's rendition of Amaterasu emerging from the cave holding a magatama necklace in her left, and a sword in her right

Magatama (勾玉) are curved, comma-shaped beads that appeared in prehistoric Japan from the Final Jōmon period through the Kofun period, approximately 1000 BCE to the 6th century CE.

Jablonec nad Nisou

City in the Liberec Region of the Czech Republic.

Jablonec nad Nisou as viewed across the Mšeno Dam
Old Catholic Parish Church
Mírové Square with the New Town Hall (left)

The city has a long tradition of costume jewelry and beads production.


Loop of prayer beads commonly used in Indian religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism for counting recitations when performing japa (reciting a mantra or other sacred sound) or for counting some other sadhana (spiritual practice) such as prostrating before a holy icon.

Portrait of Sawai Madho Singh counting beads on a pearl and ruby mala; Jaipur, c. 1750
Statue of Shiva at Murudeshwara; Shiva is frequently depicted wearing a pair of rudraksha malas in Shaiva Hindu iconography
Chinese Buddhist 18-bead wooden mala
Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama, wearing a mala around his wrist
Sculpture of a Jain sadhvi hold a japamala

The main body of a mala is usually 108 beads of roughly the same size and material as each other though smaller versions, often factors of 108 such as 54 or 27, exist.


Genus containing six known species of dioecious palms , occurring from southern Panama along the Andes to Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, northwestern Brazil, and Peru.

Silver locket with tagua center
Tagua carvings
Handicraft from Ecuador

When dried out, it can be carved just like elephant ivory; it is often used for beads, buttons, figurines and jewelry, and can be dyed.


Embryonic plant enclosed in a protective outer covering, along with a food reserve.

Seeds of various plants. Row 1: poppy, red pepper, strawberry, apple tree, blackberry, rice, carum, Row 2: mustard, eggplant, physalis, grapes, raspberries, red rice, patchouli, Row 3: figs, lycium barbarum, beets, blueberries, golden kiwifruit, rosehip, basil, Row 4: pink pepper, tomato, radish, carrot, matthiola, dill, coriander, Row 5: black pepper, white cabbage, napa cabbage, seabuckthorn, parsley, dandelion, capsella bursa-pastoris, Row 6: cauliflower, radish, kiwifruit, grenadilla, passion fruit, melissa, tagetes erecta.
Plant ovules: Gymnosperm ovule on left, angiosperm ovule (inside ovary) on right
The inside of a Ginkgo seed, showing a well-developed embryo, nutritive tissue (megagametophyte), and a bit of the surrounding seed coat
The parts of an avocado seed (a dicot), showing the seed coat and embryo
Diagram of the internal structure of a dicot seed and embryo: (a) seed coat, (b) endosperm, (c) cotyledon, (d) hypocotyl
Diagram of a generalized dicot seed (1) versus a generalized monocot seed (2). A. Scutellum B. Cotyledon C. Hilum D. Plumule E. Radicle F. Endosperm
Comparison of monocotyledons and dicotyledons
Seed coat of pomegranate
A collection of various vegetable and herb seeds
Dandelion seeds are contained within achenes, which can be carried long distances by the wind.
The seed pod of milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Germinating sunflower seedlings
Microbial transmission from seed to seedling
Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean or green bean) seeds are diverse in size, shape, and color.
The massive fruit of the coco de mer

Many seeds have been used as beads in necklaces and rosaries including Job's tears, Chinaberry, rosary pea, and castor bean.