The study of gold-glass beads was given a considerable boost in the 1970s by Weinberg's report on their manufacture in Hellenistic Rhodes and by Alekseeva' s and Boon's studies on finds from southern Russia and Britain, respectively. Nothing comparable has been published in the intervening years, but scattered new information has appeared. This paper aims to survey and review the available data on manufacturing technique, style, provenience and chronology. An attempt is also made to fit gold-glass beads into the general framework of glass history. The main focus is on the finds of the Mediterranean and related regions in pre-Islamic times. Note is taken of the continuation of the use of gold-glass beads in Medieval Europe. Conclusions drawn are usually only tentative - if not hypothetical - as sufficiently well-documented source material is scarce.
The Society of Bead Researchers is a non-profit scientific-educational corporation founded in 1981 to foster historical, archaeological, and material cultural research on beads and beadwork of all materials and periods, and to expedite the dissemination of the resultant knowledge. Membership is open to all persons involved in the study of beads, as well as those interested in keeping abreast of current trends in bead research.
"Gold-Glass Beads: A Review of the Evidence."
BEADS: Journal of the Society of Bead Researchers
5: 9-25. Available at: