Beads of copper are amongst the oldest and most widespread ornament forms known in North America. Native copper was an important material to prehistoric Americans, and certainly the most important metal. It was collected, transported and traded over wide areas from as early as seven thousand years before present, and its for ornaments persisted until it was gradually replaced by European metals over the many years of the contact period. A recently discovered cache of copper beads, bead preforms, awls, a crescent knife and scraps of raw copper at site 20KE20 in northern Michigan offers insight into the process of copper-bead production in fifth-century North America.
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.
Martin, Susan R.
"A Possible Beadmaker's Kit from North America's Lake Superior Copper District."
BEADS: Journal of the Society of Bead Researchers
6: 49-60. Available at: