Rosaries are more than just fashion necklaces and pendants. They are religious ornaments and accessories which accompany many people of faith throughout their whole lives. From simple mono colour designs, to colourful models made from rare materials, rosary beads are combined in many creative ways. Choosing a rosary to carry with you every day is a decision that relies on personal taste, but is nevertheless a decision best made with a wide knowledge of all the bead styles, materials and lengths available on the market.
Length and Bead Size
A rosary's length is correlated to bead size. Compositions with larger beads can be significantly longer, up to sizes that cannot be comfortably carried with you in a pocket. The size of the links between the beads has a bearing on overall length, too. Lengths of chain links can make significantly longer rosary beads, so those interested in purchasing religious rosaries should keep in mind that the long links tend to tangle and may pose an obstacle in praying. Extra-long rosaries are also produced, for wearing around the waist.
Regular or Faceted
Standard rosary beads are round, but there are models that have multi-faceted beads. With an angled structure and sometimes translucent materials, multi-faceted beads are visually appealing, resembling jewels. These beads are less functional, as they do not slide easily through the fingers, so if you are more interested in functional design, choose rosaries with round beads.
Rosary Bead Material
The materials used for beads range from resin or plastic to precious gems. Plastic is a sensible choice for children's rosaries, as the beads are generally more resistant to scratching. Rosary beads made from high-end materials require more responsible use and care. They are more prone to damage, and need care when being cleaned.
The centrepiece in the case or Roman Catholic rosaries is a cross. Some Catholic prayer beads have the medal of a saint. Islamic prayer beads or Tasbih have a tassel as their centrepiece. Buddhist prayer beads are sometimes made from seeds. They too have a centrepiece tassel.