How Can I Tell If Glass Beads are Antique

by on March 10, 2010

It is difficult to tell old glass beads and antique glass beads apart. Antique glass beads are glass beads which are over 100 years old, whereas old glass beads are just “old” beads. For you to be able to tell which is which, you require to know a thing or two about glass beads. Here is a short crash course on how you can differentiate the two.


In ancient times, glass beads were made of natural minerals. Antique glass beads today are still made from these materials. Examples of these materials include rock crystals, faience, jade, garnets, opals and ambers

Many glass beads are made to imitate these materials and other man-made materials like plastics. Some are old, but not all are antique.

The combination of materials will also give you an idea of whether the beads are antique or not. For instance, antique Czech glass beads were often joined together using a brass connector, whereas newer Czech glass beads are not.

Eras And Techniques of Antique Beads

This history of glass beads is divided into several different eras, with each era characterized with its own distinctive technique and designs.

In the three major glass making eras different techniques were used to produce different kinds of glass beads. Knowing what types of glass beads were produced during what era and the type of design and technique used to manufacture the beads during that era, you will be able to tell if a glass bead is antique or a cheap knock-off.

Two of the most ancient techniques used in bead making are the winding method and the drawn glass methods.

With these things in mind, you can tell the difference between antique glass beads and old glass beads.

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