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         ||   P.O. Box 356  ~  Browns Valley, CA 95918  ~  Tel: (530) 743-1339   ||   

Peacock Beads Using Vacuum Technology - 2010

A new Czech bead that hit the US market in 2009 was the "peacock" bead.

Although originally made in the 1960's by German beadmakers in NeuGablonz, Germany, using vacuum technology which created a oil slick coating over a pressed glass bead, the new Czech peacock bead is quite different.

The German beads have a reputation of rubbing off with some use or contact to the skin of certain people. We can confirm this.

In contrast, the Czech beads do not. We have tested them extensively by the scientific method of wearing them, carrying them around in a pocket full of loose change, washing them with dirty dishes in the kitchen sink (okay, that was an accident), and generally abusing them beyond reasonable use. And they survived.

The German beads only came in round dots with the peacock colors inside the dots (picture on left).

The Czech makers invented a stencil to cover the beads that are laid on the bottom of the coating machine and come in many different shapes such as dots, stripes, flowers, stars, triangles, squiggles, etc… you get the picture (picture on right).

Although this is not the beadmakers fault but the importers fault who place the orders, the German beads only came in round and oval. Having said that, we did stumble across some vintage Swarovski beads that were heart shaped with the peacock dots dating from the 1960's. We only know of three importers who carried a line of German peacock beads during the late 1990's and into the 2000's; John F. Allen, Eclectica and ourselves (Wild Things Beads). What we did find was that prior to us ordering the round and oval beads we were offered round and oval cabachons which the factory altered by making a bead mold for us. That same factory then offered that mold shape to everyone else.

The Czech beads come in an unlimited range of shapes.

The German beads are expensive, whereas the Czech beads are not as expensive, but lets face it - they are not cheap. The reasons for that are several; labor costs in Germany are higher, the Czechs are still on the Czech crown, (the crown is 20 to $1USD), whereas the Germans are on the Euro (the USD is $1.32 to the E), which will change in 2013 when the Czech Republic crown officially converts over to the Euro. (Then we will have to see if Czech beads are still affordable).

Like most Czech beads, the peacock beads are made in small cottage industry factories. The factory where we buy our beads is a two man operation in a rented building in Zelezny Brod.

The owner was a Jablonex manager who lost his job and went out on his own. He built his first machine by hand and within one year bought his second machine.


His service is the peacock coating. Beadmakers bring him the beads and he coats them, using different chemicals. He starts off laying the beads on the bottom of the stencilled tray inside the coating machine. He pours the desired chemical into a tray above the beads and closes the lid to the machine. He turns the machine on and runs it for 20 -40 minutes, then opens it up, flips the beads over (if it calls for a two sided coating) and repeats the procedure. The stencil will create the desired pattern on the bead. Once the coating is applied, the bead is finished, and ready for sale.

There are two factories we know of who do the peacock coating in the shapes and patterns shown here, and certainly there must be more.

Stay posted for when we find the next new bead.

Guy and J-Me are the owners of Wild Things Beads, a small family run American import house located in Northern California deep in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and can be contacted at (530) 743 1339 or on the web at They import glass beads and buttons from Czech Republic, as well as lead tours to bead regions around the world in an effort to promote bead knowledge, history and commerce.


Wild Things Beads  ~  P.O. Box 356  ~  Browns Valley, CA 95918  ~  Tel: (530) 743-1339

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