The first ever Troll bead was made by silversmith Søren Nielsen in 1976, when he designed and crafted a silver bead called “The Mask”, so called because the bead had six different faces, each with a different expression.
The original beads were silver and threaded onto pieces of leather. After going on sale in the Copenhagen jewellers belonging to Søren and his sister Lise’s father, Svend Nielsen, they became popular very quickly and soon requests were being made for Trollbeads to be produced in a variety of different shapes, colours, sizes and materials. In 1987, Lise Aagard opened a second store in Lyngby. Today Trollbeads is still very much a family business, with the brand having been developed by the Nielsen/Aagaard family, and each family member with his or her own role.
By the 1980s Troll beads developed a lock for their bracelets which the wearer could then remove and re-attach to the chain, allowing the beads to be interchanged. This new twist on an already very popular original design was to become one of the most recognisable traits of the Troll bead bracelet. Towards the close of the 1990s, Lise Aagaard began to export and distribute Trollbeads outside of Denmark with her parent company, Lise Aagaard Copenhagen, and the following year introduced glass beads to the collection, which are made by turning the molten glass in a flame heated to 800 degrees.
Trollbeads are now available in a wide variety of materials, including pearl, silver, gold, and semi-precious and precious stones and are threaded on to a bracelet which can either be made from silver, leather or gold. Other components include the removable lock and stoppers or spacer beads, which can either be used to prevent the Troll beads from falling off the bracelet or simply to space out a few of the beads in a pattern.
Trollbeads have now become incredibly popular, not only because of their versatility and the fact that the wearer can interchange the beads, but for other reasons too. A Troll bead can be purely decorative; however there are many Trollbeads which can be used to signify an important event, memory or interest in the wearer’s life –much in the same way as traditional charm bracelets. Some beads symbolize mythology, others are of plants and animals and others even make reference to science. The Troll beads can then be arranged onto the bracelet as a reminder to the wearer of an anniversary, an achievement that they are proud of, or even as a memento of a holiday or to remind them of a friend.
Trollbeads make ideal gifts for loved ones, particularly as they are so very personal in nature. A simple bracelet with a couple of starter beads makes a beautiful and original Christmas or birthday present, and allows the wearer to make the bracelet his or her very own by choosing different beads to continue the bracelet with.