Antique Lustre Beads
Any color bead can be a luster bead~ lustre, or luster, is a finish applied after the bead is made~ except for black beads, those usually were Irisized. Simply put, black glass beads were put into big vats of lacquer that contained metal dust...then they were put thru a furnace just hot enough to burn off the organics and fuse the metal tot he surface, making the iris finish. Lustring beads was reported in use as early as 1856. The beads were sent thru a chamber that contained metal fumes...the metal in the fumes would stick to the hot glass and melt to their surface, producing the effect above...to look closely at them it looks like oil on water, but in a smooth allover effect, without the striations. I am always thankful to the nameless many, as there were sure to be many MANY people in the glass industry that died early deaths from breathing toxic metal vapors.
Check back in a few if you want to see where I put these little beads!