2 Red Cinnabar Imperial Chinese Money Beads

Product Code: ga5694

Availability:In stock

Price is per two of these beautiful beads, each measures 17mm x 5mm, crafted from reconstituted cinnabar. Picture shows two different views - drilled to thread all the way through top-to-bottom.

The toxicity of mercury and cinnabar was well known before 2000 B.C, when slaves and prisoners mining the ore died after three-years. However, the Chinese during the Song Dynasty, reduced the risk by using lacquer over the cinnabar carvings onto chests, candle sticks, snuff bottles and other ornaments.

Today, the toxic pigment is replaced by a resin-based polymer that looks the same as the pigmented lacquer. Most beads and jewellery sold as cinnabar now, consist of a carved wood base covered by layers of resin, and are totally harmless.