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The History of Czech Glass Beads

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Czech glass beads are certainly one of the most beautiful and sought after styles of beads, as they feature unique styles, patterns, and hues simply not found in any other types of beads. The history of Czech glass beads is actually as rich as the beauty of the beads themselves. Find out more about the captivating history of Czech glass beads here:

Early History

Glass beads were being crafted in Bohemia, which is the present day Czech republic, as early as 250 B.C. By the 900’s (A.D.) handcrafted glass beads were being put inside of some tombs. And, in the 1200’s, several glass factories, that were sometimes used to make beads for rosaries, were opened as locals began moving into the northern mountains of the area.

czechrepublicprague-charlesbridge

The incredible Charles Bridge in the Czech Republic.

1500’s

In the mid 1500’s, there arose a major glass industry in the Bohemian cities of Bedrichov (present day Reichenberg), Stanovsko, and Jablonec that consisted of glass-makers who made beads for use in jewelry factories. In years after, bead-makers began producing more beads to be used in costume jewelry that was rising in popularity.

1800’s

By the early to mid 1800’s, competition between Bohemia and Venice was building. So, Czech bead artisans decided to explore Europe to come up with new bead design ideas and within a short time, their bead industry surpassed that of Venice. During this time, there was also some industrial innovation going on that lead to the creation of new machines that could produce greater varieties and amounts of beads in a shorter time period. However, there was still some difficulty in manufacturing the molds for the beads, so the Czechs began to focus on the creation of pressed glass beads.

czechglassbeads

A close up image of a purple Czech glass window bead.

1900’s

In the early 1900’s, World War I nearly caused the downfall of the bead making industry. However, soon after WWI, Bohemia became a part of Czechoslovaki, and the Czechs soon became the largest exporter of glass beads in the world. Next, the Great Depression arose, causing some more disturbances to the production of Czech glass beads, but the industry recovered by the mid to late 1930’s. World War II caused some more problems for the bead making industry in Czechoslovakia, and it went into further decline due to the entire glass making industry being nationalized. There wasn’t a turn for the better in the bead making industry until 1950, when the nation’s communist regime needed to look for goods to export in exchange for money.

Today

In the present day, Czech glass beads makers are a leader of the beading industry, producing a wide variety of beautiful Czech glass beads.

Here are a couple of our Czech glass bead creations, shop all our beaded bracelets:

SWCreations-SunsetGlassCopperBeadedBracelets

Our handcrafted Sunset Glass Copper Beaded Bracelet was created using a gorgeous assortment of sunset hued Czech glass beads, bead caps, and beautifully fire torched solid copper beads. It measures 7 inches and is strung on a durable stretch cord.

SWCreations-PrismaticLightGreenGlassBeadedBracelets

Our handcrafted Prismatic Light Green Glass Beaded Bracelet features faceted blue green iridescent Czech beads, chrysolite abx2 Swarovski Austrian crystals, flat oval green blue Czech glass beads, along with marine dolphin sterling silver clasps and made with Bali .925 silver components. It measures 8 inches, but it can be made smaller upon request.

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