Posted on

What are Pikake beads?

Sometimes when buying from estates, when the jewelry is from mid-century, I will come across a pikake bead necklace. The pikake flower is used in Hawaiian lei. Authentic vintage pikake beads are hand-carved ivory or bone and in the shape of a pikake flower. The better necklaces have hand carved ivory or bone barrel clasps. When the clasps are still in good condition and not stripped, it’s a great day.

Hand carved ivory pikake beads

Sometimes you will see these necklaces advertised on eBay as being made of “bovine” bone. This is code for those who know pikake bead necklaces, as eBay has banned the sale of most ivory.

Mid-Century hand carved ivory pikake bead necklace

How to tell if the necklace is ivory or bone… ivory is finer, hopefully smoother, while bone may have tiny pits in the material. Ivory can have a more of a sheen versus bone. When looking closely with a loupe or magnifier, ivory may show minute lines or crosshatching while bone may look more porous. Both bone and ivory can turn yellowed over time.

If you have ivory or bone jewelry to sell, please contact me @ 513-317-7693 for a no-obligation, competitive and immediate cash offer. Thanks! Audrey Chapline