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May 23, 2021 2 min read

Oscar Betz just might’ve outdone himself.

In our first collection collaboration with the iconic artisan, Betz has brought the patriotic palette of Sissy to his signature style of chandelier earrings and it’s even more breathtaking than we imagined.

“We sought out all the antique Venetian trade beads we could find in that colorway, some of them are seven layers, which are the elites, the most valuable and incredibly hard to find,” Cheryl said. “That’s why this signature series is limited to only six pairs, because of the rarity of these beads.”

Sometimes referred to as “African trade beads” or simply “trade beads”, they’re more formally known as Venetian Millefiori beads, a name indicative of their place of origin (Venice) and the Italian word meaning “thousand flowers”. Artisans, dating back as far as the early 1800s, would create these beads by arranging rods of colorful glass into floral designs (or sometimes stripe patterns) and mold them around solid cores of glass.

“When you see these beads in their original form, they’re generally cylindrical and you can see the repeating floral pattern,” Cheryl explained. “But you can see what Oscar’s done -- just another testament to his talent -- is slice and shape them in a way that reveals the layers and color combinations in a whole new way. And it also reveals their uniqueness; even ‘matching’ beads are not identical, no two beads are exactly the same.”

Oscar complemented the beautiful beads with colorful cabochons of lapis lazuli, mother-of-pearl, and red coral, all hand cut and hand set in sterling silver chandeliers, numbered and signed by the artist himself.

As we predicted, some savvy shoppers scooped up ALL BUT ONE PAIR of these little beauties on day one (you can’t hesitate when it comes to a Betz!), but you still have a chance to snag that last pair and you can always shop our collection of Oscar’s contemporary creations designed and handcrafted exclusively for DDR.

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