Among the most celebrated of faceted beads, Russian Blues derive their romantic name from their involvement in the Russian fur trade of the Pacific Northwest where they first appeared in the America’s during the early 1800’s. Inspired by faceted gemstone beads, the art of faceting glass was mastered by the artisans of Bohemia. There, as nowhere else in the Europe, the plentiful supply of running water supplied the energy necessary to operate the grinding wheels used to cut glass. These beads, designed for export were subsequently distributed to traders and found their way to both Africa and the Americas. Authentic Russian Blue beads such as these were produced in a number of shapes and shades, some more rare than others. Look carefully and you can see the unique quality of these hand-faceted beads apparent in the slight irregularity of the individual facets. Each bead measures approximately 8-9 x 8-9mm with about 72 beads per strand. Don’t miss your chance to own this special piece of history today!