There has been some question regarding the origin of these beads,
with some believing they are ancient and some believing they are
made now or recently. We believe these inexpensive and plentiful
beads are ancient (approx. 600 years old, from the 15th or 16th
century) and have been "sifted from the sand."
These beads have been found scattered across desert sands and at
burial sites in Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso, etc. It
seems unlikely that bead makers would go through the time consuming
process required to create these ancient looking beads. They are so
cheap it just wouldn't be profitable.