The necklace measure 27 inches long and features 18 Dentalium Shells and 20 Russian blue beads. These beads are from the Alert Bay/ Fort Rupert area where there was a Hudson’s Bay trading post that bought furs from the Kwakwakw’wakw people. These beads have an actual history of being traded in the fur trade.
Originally Russian blues were made in Bohemia. They really don’t have a lot to do with Russia. They were actually shipped across Russia to China where they were faceted. The faceted blue beads were then shipped to Alaska and down the North American Coast and into the North American “Northwest”. They appeared in Alaska just prior to the 1870’s. They were popularly traded during the fur trade era. They are glass beads known for their numerous and irregular facets, and blue coloring; transparent and opaque. There were deviations in the number of facets and they were made in white, light blue, and black. The old ones are collectible. Today the new Russian blues, (glass faceted Russian cuts), are known for their beauty. They are made in the Czech Republic in a variety of sizes and colors in fine glass that the Czech Republic is known for.