I had been searching high & low for these magical beads, and finally found a rare stash in England. I attribute the donkey bead's protective properties to saving me in a major auto accident in 1988. The bead was hanging from my rear view mirror and shattered... without actually hitting anything. The same thing happened to a friend. We could only intuit that the bead absorbs the full force of the accident while protecting the driver.
The Donkey Bead is a faience, the world's oldest 'artificial' substance. It is an ancient, non-clay based ceramic of quartz and sand created 5,500 years ago in ancient Egypt. The bright blue glaze symbolizes the Nile, the Waters of Heaven and the Home of the Gods. Faience was often a substitute for turquoise and lapis lazuli.
These beads have long been used as a talisman against 'The Evil Eye' and to protect animals, especially donkeys. Now, they are often hung from rear view mirrors or key chains as a driving talisman, or hung from door knobs to prevent bad luck & intruders from getting in to the home.
The holy city of Qom, Iran is the only place where traditional faience Donkey Beads are still being made.