The love of ornament is as old as civilization itself. By wearing jewelry that is unusual or unique, we define ourselves as individuals and set ourselves apart from the crowd. Throughout antiquity, in every great culture, beads were formed from colored gems, glass, ceramic, shell, bone and metal in an endless variety of shapes and sizes. Sometimes they were worn for their magical or curative powers, at other times simply for their beauty. People, highborn and low, the citizens of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Judea, Greece, Rome and Byzantium, wore them. Frequently these jewels, so prized in life, were buried with their owners to adorn them through eternity. When we wear them today, we add another chapter to their long and fascinating history.