Sometimes beads get a bad rap in the jewelry design biz. There are so many beads in this world, a vast swath of them crappy and cheap, that their value can seem diminished. I am not ever going to talk about the cheap, crappy beads here. I will only ever talk about the rare beads, the sexy beads, the old beads and the stunning beads. I will tell you about the time I paid too much for this one, or the odyssey I went on to see the place where that bead came from. Beads are a form of armchair travel, not just geographically but through time, stretching back thousands of years, to Neolithic times. If you have ever wondered why so many beads have a magical eye staring back at you, or would love to peek into a window on women in Mauritania making polychrome Kiffa glass beads using their own spit, I will take you there!