Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Black Vulcanite "Vinyl" Tiny Heishi Trade Beads New African Art

AvailabilityIn stock
Special Price $5.00 Regular Price $11.00
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Title Black Vulcanite "Vinyl" Tiny Heishi Trade Beads New African Art
Type of Object Vulcanite
Made In Unknown
Traded In Africa
Approximate Age Contemporary
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 General wear.
Bead Size 3 mm diameter. Please see picture with penny for size comparison.
Strand Length Approximately 30 inches. 
Brand Unbranded
Style Beaded
Type Necklace

Picture is an example. Yours will be similar. You are purchasing one.

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.