Shell beads are said to be the oldest form of beads and often called the ‘mother pearl’. One can say, the bead making industry started from here. The earlier civilizations started close to the riverbeds and coastal areas. The people who inhabited these areas started using the shells which are seen in the beach areas for making necklaces.
The shell beads are naturally occurring ones, usually seen in white colors. These beads are available in the market in different colors, which make the use of different colors and dyes. But the shell beads in their natural white color have the maximum demand, as the white color represents purity, sanctity and peace. The shape of the shell beads are also an important feature. They come in different shapes, and different sizes, naturally.
The use of shell beads continues from the past. But they are used in decorative purposes mostly. Shell bead chains are used as curtains. They can be used to decorate wooden photo frames, large mirror frames etc.
The engravings are always a part of human life in the form of relations, religion, history etc. The engravings, if they are made on the shell beads, give an even greater feel. Unlike on the other beads, one can make attractive engravings on the shell beads. The engravings with their white color especially provide an added beauty to the shell beads.
The shell beads play important role in different religions across the world. In India, it is used for horoscope predictions in Hinduism. In African countries, shell beads are believed to have magical powers and used in ritual purpose.
The shell beads have no age barriers. It is used by children to the old age people. As it is a natural product, the chances of reaction when in touch with body are less.
Women love to wear this, because they match with any outfit. They very well suits with the ethnic wears. They are used in many dance forms. Especially in tribal dances, long necklaces with large shell beads are used as jewelry.
Coastal areas are the main markets of the shell beads. The inhabitants of these areas collect the beads from the sea, polish them and make different necklaces for their livelihood. The shell beads are also available as bulk buy from these areas. They are also available in freshwater areas, which appears to be cleaner and simpler compared to the sea beads.