For centuries, Venice was known as the "Queen of the Adriatic". Her citizens were famous as skilled artists, adventurous sailors, and clever traders. The polo family of Venice traveled as far east as China, while other Venetian merchants did business in the ports of Asia, Africa, and Europe. Venice was also renowned as a center of glassmaking, and Venetian glassware was a valued trading item from one end of the world to the other. These exquisite beads, worked in vibrant shades, were created during the golden age of Venice. Perhaps they were traded for African ivory, Persian spices, or Arabian pearls. To wear them today is to evoke the romance and grandeur of a vanished world.