I got these huge beads at an estate sale; I thought they might be amber, but they’re actually made of different materials. Can anyone suggest what those materials or origin might be?
The smallest is about 2cm, 3/4"; the largest is about twice that size.
The big lot of pale yellow beads are very lightweight, somewhat translucent, and look like they’re full of tiny bubbles. Slightly rough texture, matte finish. Resin?
The four darkest brown beads are very smooth, with a satin finish, and have a lot of color variation. Too translucent to be wood, softer than glass or stone;
possibly horn or amber or synthetic? The big flat one shows a dark veinlike matrix.
The four amber color beads are hard, heavy, dense, like stone or glass. They’re the most translucent, and are covered with tiny nicks and scratches filled with a dark gray substance.
I’m pretty sure the big yellow one is faceted glass, probably cast, but uneven and asymmetrical, so the facets might have been cut. Lots of dirty nicks.
Any suggestions about materials, age, origin?
They make me think of Africa, though most trade beads I’ve seen are smaller. They’ve probably knocked around for a few decades, with nicks, scratches, cracks, and abrasions from being strung next to other beads.