Dating wire wound glass trade beads

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In fact, many of Shipwreck's lifelong customers enjoy walking into the expansive showroom and reminiscing about visiting the store's original, diminutive location so very long ago.

With literally billions of beads stocked from floor to ceiling, the 22,000 square foot showroom is practically bursting with beads, making it a designer's dream come true!

In those days, a large hollow globe of molten glass was created, and then drawn out into a long thin tube up to 300 metres long.

One person manipulated the hollow globe, while the other took one end of the globe and moved away drawing out a tube of glass as one might draw out a thread of toffee.

Research in the past decade has identified seven bead series that were present in southern Africa during this time span, and chemical analysis has opened windows on the origins of the glasses used to make the beads.