Have you ever wondered how sterling silver Trollbeads are made? It’s an incredibly intricate, multi-faceted process.
See how a sterling silver Trollbead comes to life. From inspiration to design, through a series of steps, until the final product is revealed, which can be seen in the two videos below.
The steps involved are incredibly intricate and, after viewing these fab videos, you’ll definitely look at your sterling silver Trollbeads with even more amazement than before!
Silver has been used in jewellery making for more than 4000 years. As a precious metal it will always have that timeless feeling to it. Therefore, it is no surprise that the majority of the magical and Norse Trollbeads are created in silver. The tradition goes back to the Viking era where silver jewellery had its first momentum in Scandinavia. The great Vikings of the North created lots of silver jewellery, including arm-cuffs and necklaces.
Trollbeads are little pieces of art, made with a blend of new and ancient techniques.
In 1945 after apprenticing to be a goldsmith, Svend opened his own jewellery shop in Denmark. Over the ensuing years, I wonder if he had even the slightest inkling that his talented offspring would end up creating the original “bead-on-bracelet” concept in 1976, and build it into an extraordinary Trollbeads brand known and enjoyed all over the world?… It’s a phenomenal feat, so probably not.
Since Trollbeads inception in 1976, and it grew from one bead to the amazing collection of today, Svend Nielsen designed 90 Trollbeads, three of which are shown above and includes, “BEE ON HIVE”. This bead was retired in 2010, however it's available TO BUY in Suzie Q’s Rare & Retired Collection, but there’s only one of these Troll Treasures, and it’s pretty rare, so get it while you can!
The first Trollbead to be created was in 1976. It was a small sterling silver bead that was decorated with no less than six faces. The bead was cleverly designed to show a face however you looked at it. This unique bead was designed by Søren Nielsen and sold from his father Svend’s, jewellery shop in Copenhagen.
The first beads were created at a time when it was fashionable in Denmark to have a silver bead hanging on a leather cord around the neck. But instead of letting the bead hang from a jump ring, Søren wanted to let the leather cord go through the bead. This new concept proved to be very popular, inspiring Søren Nielsen to create five additional sterling beads, and then more and more designs, including some of my all-time favourites, to the tune of over 380 Trollbeads since 1976!
As previously mentioned, Søren Nielsen has designed some of my favourite Trollbeads pieces: Troll Anemone Pendant, Wisdom (a classic!), Neither Fish Nor Bird, Daisy, Tupilak Mouth, Shadow Flower and many more… I really love his design sense.
BTW… Some of Søren Nielsen’s Trollbeads designs are available for purchase in my Suzie Q's Rare & Retired Collection, and most are quantities of "one only”, so don’t miss checking out what’s up for grabs!
Lise Aagaard, daughter of Svend Nielsen and sister to Søren, was right along her brother’s side when the Trollbeads concept began, with a handmade sterling silver bead being strung onto a leather cord necklace. Later on, Lise began to put beads onto silver bracelets - one bead on each bracelet.
Later on, Lise opened another jewellery store and one day a customer asked to have an extra bead put onto her bracelet. This surprised Lise, but she followed the customer’s wish and from then on the Trollbeads movement started… Cool, or what?
With more customers requesting more beads, the collection grew, making this the invention and beginning of the original beads-on-bracelet concept, over 40 years ago in 1976!
At first, only sterling silver was used to create Trollbeads, but as the collection expanded it became more diversified with other materials such as gold and pearls, plus the introduction of “locks” to allow for changing the bead combinations on bracelets at home, without the use of tools.
In 2001, after researching and learning the art of glass bead-making, Lise Aagaard introduced the first handmade glass beads to the Trollbeads collection, which in turn, inspired the addition of other materials such as amber, gemstones and copper, which is why the collection so very eclectic and dynamic.
Today you can find over 600 different Trollbeads designs - each with their own unique details and story - with some designs being “retired” periodically, to make room for new collections that are released with the seasons every year.
Along with the highest quality materials and craftsmanship, family has always been an important part of Trollbeads, and to this day, members of the creative Nielsen/Aagaard family still participate in the design and creation of the beads. In fact, until the year 2000, every design came from a family member.
Since then, in addition to immediate family members, 90+ renowned jewellery designers, from more than 30 countries across the globe, have been invited to contribute bead designs and are considered to be in the extended Trollbeads family… Including a designer from Calgary, AB,… Jamie North!
Are you interested in learning more about the designers of your favourite Trollbeads? “Meet the Designers” by clicking on this link >>> Meet the Designers
What a fascinating story about the origins of Trollbeads, and how the sterling silver beads are made, right?! Because I’ve been a Trollbeads retailer since 2003, I thought I knew everything there was to know about Trollbeads, but surprisingly, I learned a whole ton doing the research for this Blog Post... I hope you found the info enlightening :-)
And remember, if you love Trollbeads as much as I do, and covet unusual and rare pieces, then be sure to check out my Rare & Retired Trollbeads Collection. There are oodles of glass and sterling silver choices, with Trollbeads “Fancies”, “Limited Editions” and “Ultra-Rare” pieces being added soon… YAY!
~ xo Suzie ️