Sunday, March 27, 2011

Buying an Antique or Vintage Rosary - An Eco-Friendly Choice

For some of us, concern for the environment is a life-long commitment, for others it is an equally heart-felt but new concern. It doesn't matter where you are on this spectrum, the important thing is that purchasing an antique or vintage rosary really is an eco-friendly choice. It is a form of effective concept of recycling and reusing an item rather than buying something new. The Sacred Bead has a wonderful selection of antique rosaries for sale to help you pick the perfect rosary for yourself or a friend.
Just think, there is no mining, no manufacturing, only transportation via the postal service. It drastically reduces your carbon footprint! Not only do you save resource and energy, you have a piece of history and an exceptional work of art unlike anything produced today. The Sacred Bead has the largest selection of antique and vintage rosaries in one place on the internet! So come visit and be a part of the growing green consumer revolution. Our beautiful planet appreciates every effort. I try to use recycled packaging materials whenever possible so don't be surprised if your rosary comes in a peppermint candy tin or is wrapped with slightly used bubble wrap!
 Coral reefs around the world are dying at an alarming rate. Antique rosaries have beautiful natural Mediterranean coral unlike the dyed coral used today. Coral harvesting is now regulated and restricted by law, so buying an antique coral rosary is the most ecologically sound way to have a rosary made of this incredibly beautiful natural material. This rosary is in a private collection.
 Beautiful antique rosary with red glass beads from France.
 Very unusual 1800s rosary with sterling, mother of pearl and antique glass beads.
 Fabulous antique rosary with lapis lazuli beads. The lapis mines in Afghanistan have been mined for thousands of years and are reaching the end of their existence. Deep blue lapis like this is almost impossible to get new.
This is a gorgous vintage sterling and crystal Creed rosary, a fabulous example of a beautifully preserved vintage rosary by one of the leading rosary manufacturers in the world. See dozens of unique antique and vintage rosaries at The Sacred Bead.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Time for Another Warning About Rosaries with Added Skulls on eBay

I know I've already posted about the several sellers on eBay who have added modern carved ox bone skulls made in China to vintage and antique rosaries AND not been honest about saying they are modern additions, but after searching rosary + skull on eBay tonight I see the trend seems to be expanding. Before you ever buy an antique or vintage rosary with an attached skull, look at the seller's other items. If you see rosary after rosary with little skulls hanging off of them, all looking very much like the little skulls that are from modern Buddhist malas or ones found in online bead stores, then you should question the seller about the time period that the skull was added to the rosary. I've actually asked several sellers, receiving no reply from one and an admission from another that yes, she adds them. Unfortunately, without asking, you probably won't be told this in the auction.
None of this wouldn't matter IF people knew that the skull is not original to the rosary. Adding a skull bead that cost mere pennies does not increase the value of a rosary by a hundred or more dollars. Bidding is fierce on some of these rosaries and it really disturbs me that people are paying their hard earned money for something that is not authentic.
I make new rosaries using skull beads, so I am quite familiar with them. I also have quite a few rosaries with authentic antique skulls attached in my private collection. There is an enormous difference between the two. You can see my prior post from November, 2010 for pictures of authentic skull beads and how they are attached to the rosary- they are not dangling from them!
I am also seeing a trend in attaching a small, deep red tear drop shaped bead and selling these as antique rosaries with a drop of blood bead. Again, if you see the same dealer with numerous rosaries with the same bead, attached in the same way, it is a good clue that it is a recent addition.
When you have a favorite rosary, you can add whatever you like to it to help with meditative prayer. It is selling the rosary without informing the buyer that it is a modern addition that seems less than honest.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Antique Rosaries With Mother of Pearl Beads

 Antique rosaries featuring mother of pearl beads have a delicate beauty as in this antique French MOP and gold gilt rosary from the beginning of the 20th century. It and the other rosaries featured can be found at The Sacred Bead. If you are thinking about buying an antique rosary, The Sacred Bead has one of the most extensive collections of beautiful antique rosaries in all price ranges on the internet!
 Lovely hand-cut mother of pearl beads show the reflective quality of natural shell. Note, both the center and crucifix are of mother of pearl.
 Very similar in style, but note the uniformity of the beads and difference in the style of chain- this is a slightly newer rosary than the one above.
 A true treasure-this beautiful antique rosary has a lovely shell case. Note the darker color of the shell used in this rosary and the unusual squared shape of the beads.
For millennium, people have made beads of shell. Some of the earliest beads found in archeological sites are drilled shell beads. The beauty and hardness of shell made it the perfect material for bead making. Mother of pearl, also called nacre, is from the shells of mollusks and is especially beautiful due to its iridescent reflectivity. The way it almost glows and changes appearance made it especially valued for not only beads but buttons, inlays in musical instruments and furniture and for many other decorative uses.
Cleaning mother of pearl rosaries should be done very carefully and with a minimum of product use. The only really safe thing is a gentle soap, not detergent, something like a bar of pure soap with a soft toothbrush is plenty. Wash your hands before touching mother of pearl or coral beads as the oils, lotions or other products can cause the beads to dull.
Antique rosaries from the 19th century were frequently made using mother of pearl beads. Some of the earlier rosaries used hand-cut beads, each of a slightly different shape and sometimes quite crude in appearance. Towards the end of the century and into the 20th century, most beads were much more uniform in appearance, many of them were machine cut. Sizes range from large beads, some over an inch in size for large processional rosaries, to tiny oval beads used on lovely antique rosaries with gold gilt or sterling silver metalwork. Some of the most beautiful rosaries have mother of pearl crucifixes and centers.

 Beautifully designed crucifix made of mother of pearl and silver above and a fabulous antique mother of pearl and silver, over 4" crucifix below. There were many faux MOP crucifixes made in the mid-20th century made of celluloid- meant to look like these authentic MOP crucifixes.

I will be adding many more antique French rosaries to The Sacred Bead in the coming month and many will have gorgeous antique MOP beads! Mother of pearl is one of my favorite natural materials, and the mysterious way it plays with light makes it a perfect material for meditative prayer.
I love answering questions about antique rosaries and will always answer them! Feel free to email me at The Sacred Bead. Visit the site and email from there please, you'll find a contact form and email links.