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2 Strands White Vulcanite "Vinyl" TINY Heishi Trade Beads Africa

Product #: 125899
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Title 2 Strands White Vulcanite "Vinyl" TINY Heishi Trade Beads Africa
Type of Object Vulcanite
Made In Europe
Traded In Africa
Approximate Age Early 20th Century or later
Overall Condition Good. Some of our beads have traveled at least three continents, and have graced numerous owners. Small chips, corrosion, and pitting are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.
Damage/Repair Some beads are chipped or broken
Bead Size 4-5 mm diameter. Please see picture with penny for size comparison.
Strand Length 21 inches (includes string/raffia)

Additional information: Folklore had it that these beads were made from old records but they are actually made from an early rubber product called Vulcanite. Vulcanite is a hard, moldable rubber that has been formed by “vulcanizing” natural rubber through a curing process that involves high heat and the addition of sulfur. The result is a hard substance sometimes called “ebonite” that was used in the Victorian period to make mourning jewelry, combs, ornaments and buttons. Queen Victoria was known to wear it in tribute to her deceased husband, Albert. Today vulcanite it popularly used in the form of “heishi” in strands of beads.