What Are the Different Types of Greek Beads?

A. Genes

Greek beads, also known as koboloi or Greek worry beads, are a basic element of modern Greek culture, being generally used as fidget toys for relieving stress. Koboloi are derived from the prayer strands of the Greek Orthodox monks, who use them for keeping count of prayers during worship. Most of the Greek beads varieties sold in tourist shops across Greece have a lucky charm or a small figure of Saint Christopher. The different types of Greek beads include those made of amber, metal wood or glass, and a special variety known as efhandron typically is often made of turquoise, jade or ivory. Strands of Greek beads are thought to be good luck charms, so they are often hung on rear-view mirrors of cars.

Greek beads may be used during prayer.
Greek beads may be used during prayer.

Amber Greek worry beads are the most widespread variety, and they usually are formed in strands of as many as 20 beads. Antique koboloi can be found in shops in Greece, and they are often made of semiprecious stones bound with gold chains or fine leather instead of thread. Other Greek worry beads varieties are made of glass, metal or wood. The beads are intended to be manipulated frequently in the hand and slid along the thread, so they generally are made of materials that have a pleasant tactile sensation and clicking sounds that are helpful for relaxation.

Efhandron Greek beads generally are used to flaunt wealth and typically are made of semiprecious or even precious stones. Instead of simple thread, real silk or silver chains are uses to construct the tassels. Efhandron Greek beads are often regarded as pieces of jewelry.

The main purpose of Greek beads is to offer stress relief to their owner, so they typically are worn around the wrist, around the neck or in pockets. Greeks tend to click their beds to relieve awkward moments in a conversation or to underline an intentional pause for effect. Greek people also think that beads have the ability to foster creativity by relaxing the nervous system and activating the right side of the brain.

Worry beads that are made of natural crystals are thought to be natural remedies because they have the capacity of dispersing static electricity. Caressing the beads can have the same effect on a person as a teddy bear has on babies. Clicking the beads also is used as a way to prevent or cure bad habits such as fingernail biting or smoking.

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Discussion Comments


You don't have to go to Greece to get a lovely strand of Greek worry beads to help calm your nerves. I actually learned about the beads from a fashion magazine, and they were featured as a usual piece of jewelry that could help lower your blood pressure. You can buy the Greek worry beads online, or in the Greek area of your city if one exists.

I suppose that having something to fiddle with when you're really stressed out does indeed help. I use my worry beads whenever I have a big test coming up and find that motion of sliding the beads along the strand to be really relaxing. I think it helps your focus as well.


If you have a chance to visit Greece, picking up a variety of Greek beads can be a really fantastic way to buy plenty of souvenirs without breaking the bank. When I was in Greece I noticed that the beads made out of glass could be purchased pretty cheaply, and they were still attractive.

I actually liked that most of the Greek bead strands had a figure of Saint Christopher attached because without that I felt it would have just been another piece of jewelry. I usually wear the Greek beads I picked up for myself when I am driving. I find them very relaxing to play with when I am stuck in traffic.


My grandma was born in Greece and I can't think of many moments when she didn't have Greek beads in her hands.

She had several different strands but her favorite was so worn down from her constant rubbing that the beads were barely round.


I have been at my current job for ten years and when I first got it my boyfriend at the time bought me some Greek beads. I was kind of overwhelmed, there was a lot of responsibilities that I wasn't prepare for. He got them for me as a kind of stress reliever.

It was a nice gesture and they actually really worked. They didn't make the work any easier but they did help me calm down during some of the more intense moments. I think without those beads I might have thrown my chair through the window.

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