Unforgettable Experiences in an Extraordinary Place

Glass Seed Beads

Artifact

Glass Seed Beads

Glass Seed Beads

Artifacts
45-1 4329 FS#: Opaque white glass seed beads. 5 opaque white seed beads - drawn, torus-shaped glass seed beads; some have thin veneer of colorless glass on exterior  
45-2 4097 FS#: Turquoise glass seed beads. 5 opaque/translucent turquoise blue seed beads - drawn, torus-shaped glass seed beads  
45-3 4329 FS#: Yellow glass seed beads. 5 translucent yellow seed beads - drawn, torus-shaped glass seed beads  
45-4 4257 FS#: Opaque purplish blue glass seed beads. 5 opaque purplish blue seed beads - drawn, torus-shaped glass seed beads  
45-5 4257 FS#: Colorless glass seed beads. 5 transparent cololess seed beads - drawn, torus-shaped glass seed beads  
45-6 4329 FS#: Green glass seed beads. 5 translucent medium green seed beads - drawn, torus-shaped glass seed beads  
45-7 4329 FS#: Burgundy glass seed beads. 5 translucent dark burgundy seed beads - drawn, torus-shaped glass seed beads  
45-8 4329 FS#: Blue & light blue glass seed beads. 5 transparent navy blue/light blue seed beads - drawn, torus-shaped glass seed beads  
45-9 4329 FS#: Amber-colored glass seed beads. 5 transparent amber-colored seed beads - drawn, torush-shaped glass seed beads  
45-10 4097 FS#: Cornaline d'Aleppo seed beads. 5 CORNALINE d'ALEPPO seed beads - drawn, torus-shaped seed beads, opaque brick red over light green core, thin veneer of colorless glass on exterior  
45-11 4097 FS#: Utlramarine glass seed bead. 1 transparent ultramarine seed bead - drawn, torus-shaped transparent ultramarine seed bead  

Notes:

Beads and Pendants

Glass beads and pendants were an important part of gift giving, trade, and personal adornment in the Spanish colonies. We find numerous types of beads in sacred and secular contexts, and in both Spanish and Apalachee areas of San Luis.

Glass beads and pendants (Drawers 45, 46, 48) are typically described by manufacturing technique, shape, color, size, decoration, and, when appropriate, type name. Because some of the terms are jargon or ambiguous, the following definitions for terms used in the bead descriptions are provided. For additional information, please consult the suggested reading list for beads.

Type name

Type names are used when appropriate. Terms written in UPPERCASE letters are the commonly accepted type names of the bead or pendant style. Ichtucknee was misspelled decades ago (it should be Ichetucknee), but the misspelled version has been kept for consistency.

Color

There are several standardized color charts used by archaeologists to assign color to beads. The best (and most expensive) are Munsell color charts. Zipatone and ISCC-NBS (Inter-Society Color Council of the National Bureau of Standards) produced less expensive color charts that were used by archaeologists for years, including San Luis staff. Unfortunately, these alternative color charts are no longer available, but most of these alternate color designations can be correlated with Munsell colors.

Diaphaneity

This refers to the degree of transparency of beads.

Opaque: When light is shined behind a bead, you cannot see through it and the perforation is not visible.

Translucent: When light is shined behind a bead (from the side), you can see through it somewhat, but can't clearly see the perforation.

Transparent: When light is shined behind a bead, the perforation can be clearly discerned.

Shape

Oblate: Refers to a shape that is best described as a slightly "squashed" sphere.

Spheroid: Nearly spherical.

Torus: Refers to ring or donut-shaped beads.

Size

Seed beads: Small beads, less than 4 mm in diameter, which were typically used
for embroidery, but also on some jewelry.

Pony beads: Refers to beads of an intermediate size, usually 4 and 5 mm in diameter.

Necklace beads: Used here to refer to beads larger than 5 mm in diameter.

Suggested Readings

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