Bauxite Trade Bead from Ghana Shawl or Kilt Pin
I've just become aware of the use of these pins in the winter. This is made to hold a woolen shawl in place.
It can also be a sweater pin or even look really good on a felt or crocheted hat.
Bauxite , the world's most important Aluminum Ore, is made into beads in the village of Akyem Abompe,100 km N of Accra. The beads have been used in trade since the 1800s. This mineral is often referred to as "African Pipestone". This is a fine bead, itis square cut.
These beads are rare, especially in such good shape! You can Google "African Trade Beads" and learn much about the history of such beads.
The Copper wire is just the right tension and the curve is to accommodate the thickness of a knit. The pin has to be manipulated from the point end because if you simply try to open or close it in the same way you might with a safety pin, the bead will get in the way! It is so much more enjoyable in the hand than in a picture.
Strong, 14 gauge copper pin.