Greek beads, also known as koboloi or Greek worry beads, are a basic element of modern Greek culture, being generally used as fidget toys for relieving stress. Koboloi are derived from the prayer strands of the Greek Orthodox monks, who use them for keeping count of prayers during worship. Most of the Greek beads varieties sold in tourist shops across Greece have a lucky charm or a small figure of Saint Christopher. The different types of Greek beads include those made of amber, metal wood or glass, and a special variety known as efhandron typically is often made of turquoise, jade or ivory. Strands of Greek beads are thought to be good luck charms, so they are often hung on rear-view mirrors of cars.
Amber Greek worry beads are the most widespread variety, and they usually are formed in strands of as many as 20 beads. Antique koboloi can be found in shops in Greece, and they are often made of semiprecious stones bound with gold chains or fine leather instead of thread. Other Greek worry beads varieties are made of glass, metal or wood. The beads are intended to be manipulated frequently in the hand and slid along the thread, so they generally are made of materials that have a pleasant tactile sensation and clicking sounds that are helpful for relaxation.
Efhandron Greek beads generally are used to flaunt wealth and typically are made of semiprecious or even precious stones. Instead of simple thread, real silk or silver chains are uses to construct the tassels. Efhandron Greek beads are often regarded as pieces of jewelry.
The main purpose of Greek beads is to offer stress relief to their owner, so they typically are worn around the wrist, around the neck or in pockets. Greeks tend to click their beds to relieve awkward moments in a conversation or to underline an intentional pause for effect. Greek people also think that beads have the ability to foster creativity by relaxing the nervous system and activating the right side of the brain.
Worry beads that are made of natural crystals are thought to be natural remedies because they have the capacity of dispersing static electricity. Caressing the beads can have the same effect on a person as a teddy bear has on babies. Clicking the beads also is used as a way to prevent or cure bad habits such as fingernail biting or smoking.