Thanks, Beth, Kay and Rose, for this interesting thread.
Dentilium is far more varied than I realized, either.
Here is my dentalium story: A very long time ago I picked up a
strange but interesting string of beads for 10 cents at the Berkeley
CA Good Will. The beads looked like crude glass and there was some
kind of shell between each glass bead.
Years later, when I had learned something about trade beads, I
realized that the glass were trade beads and the shell dentilium.
Since the beads are the kind used in the pacific North West in the
19th century, I have long assumed my 10 cent necklace is of West
Coast Native American origin, and probably old. I’ve seen this
source attribution to similar combinations of trade beads and
dentalium shell in museums.
Can anyone suggest further sources of I’d like to know
more about my necklace, but haven’t spent much time researching it
up to now.