Black Clay African Lentil Bead, African Clay Beads, African Beads, African Black Clay, Black Clay Bead, Black Clay, Black Bead, Mali Beads

Sold by ClassicElements
+ $3.45 shipping
+ $3.45 shipping
In stock
Preparation takes 1-2 business days
Arrives from the United States

Item details

This listing is for the round lentil shaped bead with design as shown.
This is just one of several I am offering here in my shop and all can be found in the 'African Beads' section of my shop. Handcrafted black clay beads from Mali in West Africa.

Sold individually if you just need one, but be mindful of the ***$5*** shop minimum purchase (before shipping). You can choose the quantity desired in the drop down box.
I have one full strand... I will not charge extra to ship them and they will be insured.

Large enough to stand alone as a focal bead in your design this series of beads measure approximately:
13 x 33mm in diameter with at least a 2mm ID hole
(Dimensions are approximate and can vary slightly from bead to bead and are measured at the widest points.)

Creation history:
These beads are created primarily from charcoal black clay that is derived from the hills around Mopti and Kati which is then ground into a fine powder. The powder is mixed with equal parts water, oil and Gum Arabic to create a mixture that can be shaped and refined by hand. While still moist, designs are cut into the surface of the clay using a razor or hacksaw blade and then left in the sun to dry before they are fired in charcoal braziers. After an hour or so, the contents of the braziers are tipped onto a mat of moistened sawdust and the master artisans sift through the charcoal rubble and dust by hand to retrieve the beads and wash them several times to rid the bead surface of dust and impurities. To achieve the 'antiquing' the beads are immersed into a whitewash liquid made from ground shells that is wiped away in repeated cleanings to leave the color in the recessed designs. Finally, the beads are left to dry for several hours in the sun, before they are strung on sisal and prepared for market.

The group photo shows an example of some of the other Mali Clay Beads available.

Your beads may be a little dusty... I have wiped them clean. I use a small amount of mineral oil on a flannel cloth to wipe mine once I put them into a design. Do NOT wash with water as you may remove some of the white antiquing. You could also seal them with any clear acrylic sealer.

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Shipping & policies
Preparation takes 1-2 business days
Arrives from the United States
Estimated Shipping
Shipping to
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Opt for Priority Shipping
1. FASTER delivery 2. Your order is INSURED for $100 3. Packaging is secure and eliminates costly delays. ANY shipping charges over and above $6.75 will be refunded at the time of shipping IF all your product will fit in a Small Flat Rate box or envelope.

Due to so many changes I have made the decision to no longer ship outside of the United States. If you have purchased from me before you may inquire and I may make an exception.

My packaging is secure...all items are packaged in a cello bag with a product card.
I strive to ship all ClassicBead and ClassicElements orders within 24 - 48 hour from the time payment is received. I will notify customers if I deviate from this standard.
PLEASE stay tuned to your Etsy CONVOS! These can be accessed through your account. It is how I communicate with you in the event of a question or problem with your order. Your shipment can be delayed and I will not be held responsible for such delay if you do not respond to convo or an attempt to reach you via email. This is a time consuming costly matter to me.


Etsy Direct Checkout
Direct Checkout. You may cancel anytime prior to shipping, but you better make that decision fast as I try to ship same or next day! Fast shipping = happy customers I have learned!
I do not include a receipt in your package. You may access one if needed via your Etsy account.

Returns & exchanges
I gladly accept cancellations
Request a cancellation within: 12 hours of purchase
I don't accept returns or exchanges
But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
Additional return information
If there is a problem with your order, BEFORE you post your review (because occasionally shipping mistakes do occur) please let's take a look at the situation and we will discuss the policies below:

1. All sales are considered final unless I have sent the wrong product or an item is found to be defective. Cut goods are considered custom orders and are not eligible for return or exchange. If you are unsure of the color, I suggest ordering a small amount before committing to a larger quantity as cut goods are not returnable. Please reach out in the form of an Etsy convo if you have a question or proposal.
1a. Natural dye leather colors can vary from spool to spool. These colors are not clear, this is a distressed look and the leather shows through. IF you are unsure regarding please message me or order a small amount before committing to larger quantities or order opaque and metallics for true color and consistency from spool to spool.

2. Error in shipping?? I will gladly replace your item with the correct product.
a. You must contact me within 3 days of receipt and include a picture of the entire order. Pictures can be sent by email or via an Etsy convo.
b. In most cases you must return the product shipped in error. If return is required I will send a label along with your items for the return.
3. If I have omitted something from your order notify me immediately via Etsy convo and I will get it right out to you. This is an easy fix.

4. Cancellations: Short window I know, but I often times ship same day if I am in the shop when your order comes in. I respond quickly to convos regarding product questions so reach out if you have a question before placing your order and I'll do what I can to help! If you contact me after the 12 hour window, shipping charges will not be refunded.

Handcrafted items with subtle nuances and color variations given the differences in monitors are not considered defects. I photograph multiples to give you an idea of the nuances you might expect in unique handcrafted items.

Additional policies

I do not sell wholesale as my goal is to offer variety. Many of the items are discounted based upon quantity selected within the drop down box. We are beginning to offer full spools of leather in some options.

Trunk shows!! LOVE them! If you have a bead shop or know of one in your market who can supply vendor references I would be glad to discuss shipping a trunk show of my handcrafted ClassicBead pendants, buttons, & beads to that shop for a 10-14 day selling period. Please contact me through convo to arrange such an event.
Gift certificates to my shop are awarded to customers who assist in booking trunk shows and/or use my product in a design that is published!