Though I'll normally feature more specific information about types of beads/gemstone in this blog, I would be remiss not to use today as a 'B is for BEADS' opportunity, and talk about the general history of beads. Archeologists and bead historians have affirmed that the use of beads may go back up to 100,000 years ago! Practices involving beads include body adornment, spiritual ceremonies, currency, art, and enterprise. From the primitive beads fashioned of bones, tusks, nuts, and more in the Stone Age, to the incredible array of materials used today for beads ranging from the mundane to the sublime (clay, grass, plastic - and gold, diamond, gemstone), woman-kind and man-kind have created an ever-evolving universe of materials, designs, and colors for their creations. For a phenomenal resource on beads, their types, uses, history, and associated techniques, check out The Illustrated Bead Bible by Theresa Flores Geary, Ph.D. You can find it on Amazon.com and it's a great investment if you're as fascinated by the world of beading as I am.