Bead Size: 10 mm long, 15 mm wide
Strand Length: 16 inches (41 centimeters)
Please examine the photos carefully. We have made every attempt to get as close to the color as possible, but different monitors do interpret these colors differently. And, you will notice that the sizes of the beads do vary from strand to strand. Flaws, hairline cracks and uneven finishing is part of this handmade process.
Click on the zoom option for larger images.
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Reconstituted amber makes use of amber chips or powder that was used in other projects. It is ground down and then bound with a resin. Natural amber is found all over the world. It is a resin that comes from conifer trees. When it is new, the color is a golden yellow, almost orange and translucent. As it ages, it can become milky. The most treasured amber is old and has been mined. The Baltic region and the Dominican Republic are two modern places famous for their amber today. It has religious, cultural and medicinal significance to ethnic groups around the world.
Here is an excellent article on its history:
"Amber has a very rich history. It was already a valued raw material in the Early Stone Age (Paleolithic) and was used for the production of ornamental goods for many centuries in all the major cultures of Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Far East.
Amber also played a role in numerous religious beliefs. Dependent upon their shape and form, researchers consider amber objects found during excavation of early sites to have been of significance in various cults. The solar cult was linked to fertility. One of the attributes of this cult was flat, round amber discs decorated with a series of dots applied in the shape of a cross. Amulets in the shape of small axe-heads (occasionally double-headed miniatures), which were worn to ward off danger, are thought to have been associated with the battle-axe cult. Zoomorphic figurines probably served as protective amulets safe-guarding their wearers against any dangers they may have encountered whilst hunting. Anthropomorphic female figurines were a schematic representation of a “mother-goddess” and a symbol used in fertility cults. Male figurines and phalluses probably had some association with the ancestor cult or were used as representative symbols of gods and heroes.
The ancient Greeks and Romans both believed in the magic powers of amber. It was thought that its electrostatic energy also had the power to draw all manner of misfortune away from people. Tiny pieces of amber have been discovered inserted beneath the skin covering the hands of Egyptian mummies.
The Egyptians believed that amber secured the mummy against destruction and decay. Amber amulets have also been found in ancient graves, where they were placed in order to protect the dead in the afterlife. To this day, Zuni Indians produce a variety of amber amulets, occasionally combining them with other semiprecious stones, such as turquoise, for artistic effect or maybe ritual purposes. The belief in the power of these talismans to safeguard and protect is one which is not only popular among Indian tribes, but is also gaining favour in other societies, e.g. Germany and Japan.
The conviction that amber possesses remarkable properties has lasted for many centuries and is still evidenced in folklore. In the Kurpie region, a bridal necklace has to include at least one amber bead with an organic inclusion. This bead is known as a meddler and serves as an amulet. Amber necklaces are handed down from generation to generation with great ceremony and reverence in Kurpie and Cashubian families.
Coming into contact with amber as a stone whose properties are so very different to those of any other, people were quick to discover that amber held certain medicinal properties. The earliest accounts of amber’s medicinal properties are found in the works of Hippocrates (460 – 377 BC), who is known as the father of medicine and Pliny the Elder. Callistratus states that a short string of amber beads worn around the neck brought relief to the wearer in some cases of severe head, neck and throat complaints. Wearing amber bracelets was thought to be beneficial to sufferers of rheumatism and arthritis and reduced fatigue and feelings of general weariness. A similar effect was said to be achieved by rubbing the body with a fairly large piece of the mineral. Various other creams, balms and infusions of amber steeped in alcohol were also recommended for external use. All manner of concoctions, of which amber was the main ingredient, were also widely used to remedy respiratory complaints, asthma, bronchitis, bowel and bladder disorders, heart problems and ailments of the circulatory system."
(From AMBER Treasure of the Ancient Seas
Oficyna Wydawnicza Sadyba
Edited by Barbara Kosmowska-Ceranowicz
Translated by Barbara M. Gostynska)
Afghan Tribal Arts specializes in handcut, unpolished beads from Afghanistan and the region. Working with artisans directly in the Peshawar region, your purchase helps support small workshops who work in traditions established over centuries in the Silk Road. Afghanistan has great wealth in its natural resources, including an endless variety of semi-precious stones. Unpolished stones take in the oils of the skin with wear and develop a deep patina over time.
Recognizing that these strands are more expensive than the dyed and commercial stones that flood the market these days, we encourage our customers to think of buying with other friends and splitting the strands or to buy quantity in order to save on shipping. Free shipping on orders over $100.
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Free shipping on all purchases over $100.
All sales on Etsy are in USD.
Shipping & policies
I ship world wide and offer free shipping in the US on purchases over $100. Multiple purchases are combined into one shipment.
Etsy has a system during the listing process where we have to estimate how much an item will cost in shipping if purchased with another item. This can be difficult given that I have a range of sizes and weights that could end up in a mix very different from the amount quoted. I refund the difference if it is over $.50 and often cover the expense if it's more than what was estimated, but every now and then, it might be too big of a difference. I can fit lots of the smaller items into a flat rate envelope, but on larger pieces, it would be best to ask about shipping if the total will be under $100.
Prices are quoted for USPS flat rate envelopes or priority mail, but I can ship snail mail if preferred. I use simple packaging, recycling when possible. I use Pay Pal's shipping services which provides a bar code and excellent tracking services, so I normally do not recommend insurance and confirmation, but can include it if requested. Customer pays for the extras.
International customers, we are not allowed to describe our packages as "gifts". I know it decreases your customs fees, but other sellers have gotten into trouble for that, so it's really not a good idea.
We prefer Pay Pal. Customers are given a three day grace period for payments, but immediate payments are deeply appreciated.
Returns & exchanges
- Custom or personalized orders
- Perishable products (like food or flowers)
- Digital downloads
- Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
Returns must be done within 10 days of item receipt. I refund the purchase, but not shipping.
Wholesale inquiries are welcome from any business with a tax ID number.