The original Trollbeads were crafted from silver which was then threaded onto a piece of leather. The first bead, named “The Mask” was made by Søren Nielsen in 1976. After they went on sale in the small Copenhagen jewellers belonging to his father Svend Nielsen, the beads became known as “Troldekugler” or Troll beads, owing to the troll-like faces which appeared on Søren Nielsen’s original silver Troll bead.
The beads had a quirky, original quality to them, at once beautiful and humorous. They quickly became very popular, and soon requests were made by customers for the beads to be crafted in a variety of different materials. Today, Troll beads are available in a wide range of materials ranging from gold to semi-precious and precious stones, to freshwater pearls, and Italian glass, where the beads are created by specialist glassmakers, who heat the molten glass to 800 degrees while rotating it.
Different components were also introduced to the bracelet which meant that the beads could be interchanged depending on the wearer’s personal taste, including a removable lock. Stopper beads or spacer beads could also be added to give the bracelet a more balanced appearance or simply to avoid them falling off the bracelet.
The resurgence in the popularity of Trollbeads has been reflected in their popularity in recent years. Individuality has become a buzzword in 21st Century fashion and culture, with people stamping their personality on almost everything from the number plates on their cars to the social network pages they share with their friends. With this in mind, it is perhaps little wonder then that Troll beads are now experiencing something of a revival and are now more popular than they have ever been before. As a piece of jewellery, they offer much more than conventional pieces offered by most jewellers; as well as being beautiful, they are also highly personal. As well as decorative beads, Trollbeads can be bought which have a specific significance to the owner. Beads are available with a range of themes attached to them covering everything from science, to travel, mythology and music. An anniversary can be marked by a date engraved on a simple silver Troll bead, for example. Or a new arrival could be celebrated by a silver rattle bead. The bracelets are also unisex, adding to their versatility and uniqueness.
The appeal of Troll beads lies not only in their uniqueness and their ability to carry a message, but also in their timeless quality. They make perfect gifts for close relatives and friends, and are as personal to the wearer as a scrapbook of memories or a photo album, making them ideal presents for Christmas and birthdays. A Troll bead to add to the collection can then be bought for the wearer to signify a new special occasion.