Pop Beads

In the beginning the world of fashion jewelry was dominated with gold, silver, platinum, and all things sparkling; but along with the discovery and mass marketing of polyethylene products, the industry was eventually invaded by plastic jewelry.  It sounds like a fabrication but back in the day, pop-beads not only became a fashion statement, they took the world of style and the female population, by storm. 

When first introduced the baubles were offered in white and pseudo-pearl; they were compact in size and completely round, but before they went out of vogue, they were available in assorted styles, colors and sizes.  Google “vintage pop beads” and you will discover a myriad of examples; barrels and tubes, round and square and offered in every color known to man, or in this case, woman.  

Unlike countless style trends, this newfangled specimen in the world of fads was embraced by females of diverse ages because it was different from anything they had seen; interesting in size and texture, and quirky because you could transform the design on a whim. 

The words pearl-ized, pearl-colored, pearl-like, luster, sheen and gloss all describe pop or snap beads as some remember them; it is that unmistakable popping sound they make when you hook and unhook them that best describes those beautiful adornments.  If you remember, one end had a connector pellet and the opposite end a bored hole, and yes, you could latch and unlatch them often enough that they wore out and did not attach securely anymore. 

Certain wearers of fashion displayed them in double and triple strands in various colors so it was necessary to own zillions of them in order to match your every outfit.  My mother never displayed these beads around her neck, she was too sophisticated for that, but she did use them as an adornment around the chignon that she sported in those days.   You can Google the word chignon if you do not remember those trendy hairpieces. 

I intend to locate the storage carton that contains my collection of old-fashioned pop beads; perhaps I will also discover my missing set of colorful pick-up sticks that disappeared years ago.   Who knows, one day I might demonstrate them at my place of employment.   


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