Job Tears (coix) seeds are a natural bead. Tear-shaped & grey, Job Tears grow with a hole through the middle & a shiny coating. I grow these natural beads right here in my Wisconsin garden!
These natural beads are the seeds of a grain plant, much like a small, skinny corn, or a really robust rye. Job Tears most likely originated in India and were originally grown as a grain plant. These natural seeds have been used as a bead since at least 2,000 BC. Job tears have long been used in making rosaries and African shaker gourds.
Job tears are surprisingly easy to grow. A grain plant, like a skinny corn or a robust rye grass, they grow 30-36″ high. Drought tolerant and requiring little in the way of nutrients, I’ve found that it’s best not to grow these natural beads in a very fertile vegetable garden space, and that they don’t need very much water or looking after. I grow my Job Tears in the little strip of ground between my driveway and the neighbor’s! Here’s a step-by-step tutorial I wrote for how to grow these natural beads.
I’ve purchased Job Tears seeds from a bead supplier and they were terrible! All white, cracking, and even the shape was substandard compared to firm, rounded Job Tears seeds I grow in my own garden. Like with so many things, there’s nothing like home grown, and once you hold your first handful of home-grown job tears seeds, you’ll never go back!
Job’s tears seeds are approximately 6-8mm in diameter.
How many job’s tears to make a necklace?
Well now, that depends :) An clasp-free necklace made with all job’s tears that’s big enough to slip over the head would take about 80-90 seeds. To make a rosary you would need up to 59 job’s tears.