...but were afraid to ask!
Part 1. It's All in a Name
The Unique glass beads by Trollbeads are undeniably the one category of Trollbeads that is open for all kinds of interpretation depending upon your own experience with and knowledge of these incredible beads. To begin this discussion let’s start at what to call these beads as this is one area that confuses many collectors. I remember a couple of years ago having a debate with our Trollbeads Gallery Forum members on what the best name is and it was really quite arbitrary with the name being different on different websites and in different countries.
Lund (our past U.S. Distributor) referred to them as “Assorted Beads” but that name was too vague for me and we were permitted to call them anything that fit but not "OOAK". Many dealers in the U.S. chose to call them "limited edition" beads but for me this didn’t work either. Owning an art gallery my idea of a limited edition is something that has a finite end and I’m sure no one has been counting the beads as they were being made. Another problem with calling them limited edition is that Trollbeads had actual limited editions such as Brilliant Hearts and later Crazy Lace Agate, for two examples. Calling them "Limited Edition" would surely confuse the collector because these releases had nothing to do with Unique beads.
In Europe the dealers were selling these beads as “OOAK” beads (which is an acronym for "one of a kind") but as I mentioned Lund did not allow us to use the term due to legal ramifications. They believed the term to be misleading, where most all of these beads were not one of a kind. This difference in the terminology may not seem like a big deal yet it was for the U.S. dealers. At this point in time collectors the world over would run computer searchs for the term “OOAK” Trollbeads and where we could not use the term, it cut us out of a lot of internet searches. This was a big drawback for the U.S. dealers but I also understood the issue involved. The discussion I mentioned on our Trollbeads Gallery Forum brought up interesting points but I remember one of my Forum members telling me that “Unique” literally meant one of a kind and she was right of course but my use of the word was more about something being different from the norm. Since we had been using the name on Trollbeads Gallery since the early days, people had come to know the Unique beads on Trollbeads Gallery were in fact the same as the OOAK beads in Europe.
So call them what you want but on Trollbeads Gallery they will always be known as Unique!
In future blog articles I will be discussing the styles, values and origination of the Unique Trollbeads. Please contact me if you want anything specific or have anything to add!
The photograph above was taken of the Unique Trollbeads I was sent for Trollbeads Fest 2010. I can't wait for the Unique beads to arrive for Trollbeads Fest 2011!