Brass & Steel Beads.

Q: I acquired some vintage or antique steel, and brass beads (slightly faceted, 14s) from a friend of my mother. I haven't seen anything like them, even at good-sized bead fairs. I only have a small stash. I'd like to know what they are worth, or their replacement value. Any ideas?

A: It sounds like you have landed some 'French Steel' cut beads. They are rare, usually found out in old purses. The French steel cuts have a huge hole like that of a delica bead. I have found mine at antique stores. I just bought some that answer (more or less) to your description; they were $8 (US) for a two-inch hank (12 strands of +/- 4 inches each), which may, or may not, be useful for figuring out the value; I was sick of looking for them and figured they were a bargain at any price (which reminds me, thanks to the person who mailed me suggesting 'Empyrean' Beads, who had the beads in question, and was nice to deal with).