The Basics to Millefiori Glass Beads

Millefiori glass beads make excellent jewelry pieces for your wardrobe, as well as great gifts  for your friends and family. You can find both antique and modern millefiori glass beads in all colors, shapes and sizes depending on your needs and taste.

A brief history of millefiori glass beads

“Millefiori” is the Italian word meaning “a thousand flowers”, so it suits the millefiori glass beads perfectly. These beads are known for their flower designs that are made through layering colored glass together.

Millefiori glass beads originated from Venice, Italy, where they were used as decorative items before they became currency for trade in the 1800s. The floral patterns appealed to many different cultures in Europe and Africa, where they became symbols of wealth and prestige.

As they spread out through the world as trade beads, millefiori glass beads became popular once more in the 1960s as jewelry for the Hippies. The flowers in the beads worked very well with the Hippies’ belief in nature, but as the movement died out so did the popularity and use of the millefiori glass beads.

Today, millefiori glass beads are extremely valuable, especially if they were made in Venice in the 1800s or used in the 1960s and 1970s. There are modern millefiori glass beads that are more affordable and give the beauty of the thousand flowers as well as before, only that they are made from cheaper materials that are more commonly available in craft stores today.

Designs, colors and patterns of millefiori glass beads

The beauty about millefiori glass beads is that their designs and colors are so diverse that no jewelry made from the beads is like any other. You can find round, square, tube shaped, diamond shaped or heart shaped millefiori glass beads, and these can be mixed together with other materials such as silver, copper and gold to link the beads together.

To add to the variety, the floral designs in millefiori glass beads are diverse as well, and you can have colors such as red, pink, blue, green or white flowers in the glass. Millefiori glass beads also come in stripes and swirl designs, with the most beautiful being rainbow colors in the beads.

All kinds of jewelry are made from millefiori glass beads. Pendants, bracelets, earrings, finger rings and many others can have millefiori glass beads as centerpieces, too. Your jewelry may be combined with metals to string them together, or elastic threads especially for kids to wear.

Millefiori glass beads as antiques

For bead collectors and enthusiasts, antique millefiori glass beads make the highlight of their collections. You can find such beads from authorized jewelers in your area or online, where you can buy millefiori glass beads imported from countries such as Ghana, Mauritius, the Czech Republic and Italy. These beads are handmade and were used for trade in the 1800s, making them extremely valuable.

You will need to find books about ancient millefiori glass beads so that you can identify the beads as genuine, but a few hits are that the beads should have signs of wear and age on them, and they should look handmade, meaning that they should be asymmetrical and different from all the other beads.

Modern millefiori glass beads are more affordable

There are millefiori glass beads that are made from modern materials that are cheaper to purchase. These beads are commercially made from China and provide great floral designs for you. Modern millefiori glass beads are an excellent alternative that you can get and still retain the joy of owning the “thousand flowers” in your wardrobe.

You can use these modern millefiori glass beads for your craft projects in your own home, or you can share them with friends and family. These more affordable alternatives are just as precious as any other millefiori glass beads because they have the floral designs that are known and loved.

Uses of millefiori glass beads

Millefiori glass beads have as many uses as you can think of. You can create your own custom jewelry by purchasing beads and stringing them yourself. Millefiori glass beads also make excellent gifts for your friends and family.

The flowers in the millefiori glass beads make them great accessories for your outfits during the spring and summer. They go well with all kinds of clothing, so you can wear them with your denim pants or skirt, or with a lovely summer dress or evening gown.

There are beads for every occasion when it comes to millefiori glass beads, so buy some today!

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