One very popular type of chevron trade beads are antique awale beads. These old trade beads are usually light blue with brown and dark blue stripes. In relativity to other chevron beads, awale are relatively cheap, typically running you $23 - $49 a strand. Not bad compared to other chevron trade beads, which can run up to $3,000 per bead!
Many people ask us why these beads are called awale (some people spell it awalleh). To be honest, I'm not quite sure. But this is the name that is used by most African traders in the states.
These beads were most likely made in Venice sometime in the 19th century, or very early 20th century. Most of the time, they are found in good condition, but some beads can be cracked or chipped due to age. These trade beads are said to hold some kind of mysterious and romantic connection to the past. The beads measure anywhere from 4mm - 10mm in diameter, and there are usually anywhere from 100 - 180 beads per strand. Some strands run about 24" in length, but they can measure as large as 32" in a strand (if you're lucky).