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8mm Gemstone Beads Brown Trochus. Has a Mother of Pearl type look to it. Use No. 15 eye pins.
Posted by Ken M on Jan 29th 2016
I was extremely pleased to see these beads offered by Lewis & Company, as I had spent 25 years living in the Palau Islands of Micronesia in the South Pacific, where subsistence fishermen used to be able to supplement their income each June by harvesting Semum, or Trochus, which are easily picked off the coral reefs during that month's spring tides.
At the time, the shells were bought by agents for Japanese manufacturers who would use hole saws and drills to turn them into strong and attractive buttons from ¾" to over 1" in size.
The Trochus meat would be removed by the fisherman before sale, and it served an important dietary supplement for their extended families.
Alas, that fishery has been depressed for a few decades due to the popularity of plastic substitutes.
I ordered three sets of the beads a few weeks ago, just to find the right combination of parts to make an attractive Rosary. I've started on the first one now, and have found it matches well with some brown wooden (6 x 8?mm) beads I got a few years ago from Lewis, with a Lourdes water center and Risen Christ Crucifix, making an all-natural Rosary to send to the Jesuits at Sacred Heart Church in Koror, and perhaps on from their to my old spiritual adviser, who's gone on to one of the other missions.
I'm going to order a lot more of these in the future, because, aside from the meaning they have for me, and the slight boost to the Trochus fishery they give that's now conducted by the sons and daughters of the men who taught me to fish, they make an attractive bead that much stronger than wood or some other beads of natural origin.