The beads have a smooth satin finish and have been oxidized or "antiqued" to give them a rich, subdued tone.
Jan Mariano, Navajo
Sterling Silver Antiqued Satin Finish
Navajo Pearl Bead Necklace
Paula says - "These handmade sterling silver bead necklaces are often called Navajo Pearls or Desert Pearls."
Each bead is handmade: sterling silver discs are hand cut and punched for holes. The two halves are hand-soldered, satin finished and antiqued. The beads are then strung on a chain.
100% solid silver won't tarnish but it is too soft to use for making jewelry - it could easily be scratched, dented and bent. Sterling silver has a small amount of one or more other metals usually copper, added to the silver. To be called sterling silver, the alloy must contain at least 92.5% pure silver. Sterling silver alloy is harder than pure silver but the added metals also can cause discoloration or tarnish.