Trade Bead, West Africa

Trade Bead, West Africa

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Usage conditions apply
Beads have served as a medium of exchange around the globe. Many different types of beads have been used in transactions on the continent of Africa including those made from glass, coral, shell, and stone. Aggrey beads are a type of bead that was used for jewelry as well as trade in West Africa, especially modern day Ghana and Nigeria. They are often blue in color and cylindrical in shape. Due to limited information about the origins of the beads in the National Numismatic Collection it is not possible to determine if this specific object was used as a medium of exchange, worn as jewelry, or produced as a replica.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Trade Bead
alternative currency
Other Terms
Trade Bead; Africa; Western Africa
date made
place made
Physical Description
mineral aggregate, porcelain ? (overall material)
glass (overall material)
red (overall color)
black (overall color)
white (overall color)
yellow (overall color)
holed, painted, and fired (overall production method/technique)
average spatial: 21.2 mm x 13.8 mm; 13/16 in x 9/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
The Chase Manhattan Bank
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Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection
West African Currency
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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