Pop bead necklace

Collection Type

  • Jewelry


ca. 1960




This partial necklace is composed of round plastic faux pearl Pop beads, also called "Pop-it" beads, that connect by fitting a molded ball on one bead into a matching socket on the next bead in the sequence.


Descriptive Terms

plastic by property: thermoplastic or thermoset


Toy or fashion jewelry? These pop beads, also called pop-its, were named for the sound they make when one separates their linking mechanism. These iconic beads were a favorite of folk art scholar and collector Nina Fletcher Little.
These molded-plastic beads could be strung together in flexible chains using an ingenious “ball and socket” connecting method. Many of us remember playing with versions of them as children, enjoying the satisfying burst of sound when we disconnected two beads then jammed them back together again. What people think of as children's toys originally began as costume jewelry for adults. Providence, Rhode Island-based company Coro Manufacturing debuted gold, silver, and pearlized versions of beads in the 1950s that owners could cleverly adjust to form anything from an opera-length rope to a stylish choker in seconds. Coro's new, inexpensive baubles soon spurred rivals to develop their own versions as American women made them a jewelry sensation.

Associated Building

Original to Cogswell's Grant (Essex, Mass.),

Additional Identification Number



Possibly Coro, Inc. (Manufacturer)
Possibly Richelieu (Manufacturer)

Location of Origin

Rhode Island


3/8 (W) (inches)

Credit Line

Family of Nina Fletcher Little

Accession Number


Reference Notes

For more information of Pop-It beads see DiNoto, Andrea, "Art Plastic: Designed for Living," (1994): 62-63.


Probably Rhode Island (United States)
Probably Providence county (Rhode Island) [county]

Related Items

Title Pop bead necklace Accession Number 1993.63