Job's Tears are probably the oldest bead known. Job's Tears,
in use for beads date to at least 2000BC. Earlier claims have
merit, but remain unproven. It is not clear where these plants
were first domesticated, but it is definitely one of the oldest
agricultural crops, along with beans, corn and rice. Food was
its first and most important use. The edible fruit is shaped
like a tear drop. Legend has it that no one shed more tears
than the biblical Job, and this is the name by which it is
mostly widely known.
When dried the fruit has a hard outer shell, but a very soft
inside. The flower end of the seed has a tiny natural hole,
through which a needle is easily run through, and out the
bottom end. Necklaces are perhaps the most common use for
Job's Tears, but they are used by a wide varitey of artisans
for all types of embellishments.