These hand carved jet beads were salvaged off of a Victorian dress that was completely disintegrating. Each bead was carved over 100 years ago.
The material is Jet, which is either fossilized wood or fossilized bog-wood (not the French glass, imitation jet).
Jet became popular in the late 1800's as Queen Victoria's mourning jewelry after her husband, Prince Albert died - she would not abide any other jewelry except black jewelry worn at her court.
Please note *** The last photo is NOT included in the listing *** That is a matching necklace using beads salvaged off of the same Victorian dress. Please see it here.