Dating back to as early as 1915, Vaseline beads were originally attractive, greenish-yellow glass beads whose pretty color is attributed to the presence of uranium salts. These beads tend to fluoresce under ultraviolet light and turn a violent green.
Later versions of Vaseline beads were made in various attractive colors including bright green, red, amethyst, as well as an opaque blue green which is the color of fine amazonite.
These beads are large, faceted and shaped into a rondelle shape or flat disk, with popular jewelry designs featuring both forms on a single strand.
Today, Vaseline beads still retain their special significance as highly prized African trade beads.