About the Beads

The jewelry I most like to make assigns meaning to specific beads to create an intentional design. You can see this very well in the “World Peace” and “One World” designs. Beads have been used for symbolic and spiritual purposes for millennia. For example, in many ancient sites, beads are often buried with the deceased. Many religions use prayer beads as part of their worship. “Eye” beads have been used to ward off evil in many cultures. And there is a long history of assigning special meaning and powers to specific stones—for example, amber for purification, azurite for calming, jade to ease thirst and help with kidney function. Even in secular costume jewelry, we use charms with meaning, hearts to convey love, and precious stones to express how much we value our loved ones.

Some of the meanings I evoke will be obvious, while others are very idiosyncratic. I’ve included a few pictures of some of the beads that I commonly use and the meaning I’ve ascribed to them.


Close-ups of Beads

Glass Buddha Face (Chinese)

Aventurine carved sitting Buddha

Carved seated Buddha with story of
Buddha’s life in Sanskrit on
reverse side

Brown jade carved Buddha face

Peruvian small, ceramic Buddha

Tibetan image of Buddha

Carved bone Buddha face

Sterling silver Buddha Face

African Trade

African Trade

African Watermelon

Chinese Blessing





Lotus Seed

Moon and Stars

Peace Dove


Star of David



Yin Yang

Zuni Bear




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