Olive trees are well known as a source of fruit and oil, but what many people aren't aware is that the wood itself is among the hardiest of all fruit trees. Its fine, closed pore finish and resistance to fungi, disease and fire makes it a versatile wood for kitchen utensils, such as the mortar and pestle, yet also for jewelry craft - namely Olive Wood Beads and Pendants (also known as "Bethlehem Rosary Beads"). The beautiful contrasting blond and brown of the curled grain, coupled with its durability makes olive wood particularly ideal for Rosary Beads and Pendants, many of which are produced by co-operatives in the ancient city of Bethlehem - presently located within the Palestinian Autonomy in Israel.
Skilled artisans have been producing Olive Wood Pendants from the ancient fruit-bearing trees in Bethlehem for over 2,000 years. Most are made by Orthodox families who have developed their knowledge of the ancient wood turning techniques from previous generations. Olive Wood Pendants are produced in a wide range of different sizes and are often times strung on a string with olive wood beads. Whilst the production of Olive Wood Rosaries is still a thriving industry in Bethlehem, many of the beads and pendants can be very old. Crafters often incorporate antique beads from other broken strands that can sometimes be over a Century old!
Up for sale are four authentic handmade crosses made of Bethlehem olive wood that are not quite old, but beautiful nonetheless!