Egyptian Faience and Ancient Blue Glass Single Beads
The beads numbered 33 to 64 were bought in Mali on a strand of ancient mixed beads .. the ones numbered 68 to 86 were discovered in situ amongst many of the 900+ year old Medieval Beads which are for sale on this page.
First developed around 5,000 years ago in Egypt, Faience is a glazed, non-clay ceramic material and was the forerunner to glass, but is a much softer material.
Used by the Egyptians to imitate various much more expensive precious stones and known to them as tjehnet, a word they associated with the properties of shining, gleaming, or dazzling and was thought to glisten with a light, symbolic of life,
rebirth and immortality. An interesting article on its origins can be read
The beads below show some of the beautiful and long-lasting colours that were achieved so long ago .. having various degrees of wear which is consistent with the authentic patina of their great age.
For a full description of their history, ancient production methods, the chemicals responsible for their beautiful colours and a lot more - please read this excellent article by Marie Parsons
For Reference Only

 38 x 33 x 12 mm F         Domed fronts  with flat backs      30 x 26 x 9 mm F

29 x 23 x 10   *F

19 x 13 mm

10 x 14 x 5 mm F

23 x 18 x 6 **

17 x 15 x 10 mm * F

15 x 14 x 11 mm * F

10 x 18 mm F

10 x 16 mm F

Cross section for Reference only

13 x 5 mm 

11 x 9 x 5 plaque

Key:   F = Faience  Cyl = Cylinder   ** = Cube   * = Pyramid shape  * = Faceted Bicone  * = 5-Sided
** =  These extremely ancient and weathered specimens display a wonderful iridescence,
which is difficult to accurately display and shows as white in their pictures.