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Different color in komboloi beads July 12, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Culture Heritage.

We have been asked if the different colors of Komboloi beads, has a special meaning. Actually, no. There’s no special meaning in the colors. Here are some additional details >

Worry beads (komboloi or kompoloi) are made in many materials, wood, fruit seeds, semi precious stone, coral, but mostly in Genuine Amber. The beads used are both, newly cut and rare old antique Amber beads. Komboloi craftsmen can make your own worry beads set, exactly the way you want it to be, any size, number, or color of beads,  or in any decoration finish you desire.

Recent and rare antique worry beads, are usually made only from genuine amber. Amber, is fossil tree sap, (resin), of ancient trees. It formed about 30-60 million years ago, and became fossil, by the polymerization of the organic compounds of the resin. Amber has been known to man for thousand years. Homer refers to it in the Ulysses (459-464) and the ancient Greek name for amber is electron.

Amber was always of great value to man, and for that reason it is used through the centuries to make valuable prayer beads. These prayer beads, are found in many different cultures and civilizations, from the East Mediterranean, to Japan.

Amber is light, specific gravity is close to 1, so it floats in water.
When burned or drilled, it releases strong resin smell
It has resinous taste
It has hardness of 3 on the Mohs scale
Gets electrically charged
Changes color by use

The number of beads varies, between 19 to 99. Greek worry beads, are usually 33, Arabic worry beads are 33 to 39, and some Buddhist prayer beads are 99. No matter the origin, the number of beads is always odd. Antique worry beads are rare, as amber by getting used and aged, becomes fragile, so it is really difficult to find and intact worry bead in our days.

The color of antique amber is usual brownish, for not transparent amber, and dark honey color for the transparent amber.

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