Job's Tears (coix lacryma jobi) are seeds that I grow in my garden to use in my beaded jewelry designs.
They are tear-shaped (surprise!) and a lovely, variegated gray color. Job's tears grow all ready to use as a bead with a hole through the middle and a hard, shiny coating. I've purchased Job's tears from a bead supplier and they were terrible! All white, cracking, and even the shape was substandard compared to the job's tears I've grown 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's tears seeds, you'll never go back. I do have job's tears seeds for sale. But, maybe you'd like to learn more about job's tears seeds and how they began my jewelry making career first?
A drought-resistant grass needing little in the way of nutrients. The Seed Saver's Exchange description of Job Tears:
"(Coix lacryma-jobi) Used for beads since at least 2,000 B.C. Once an important source of food, most likely originating in India. When the polished grain-like seeds are mature, there is a perfect hole through the middle, literally nature’s perfect bead. Used for making rosaries and for musical African shaker gourds. Prolific grain-like plants. Annual, 30-36" tall."
When I saw their description in the seed catalog, I couldn't resist trying to grow them. To my surprise, the job's tears were easy to grow and I ended up with a whole tin full of beautiful, natural job's tears beads, but I didn't know what to do with them. I made one job's tears necklace, but because the seeds were so light, the heavy clasp kept coming around to the front, so they sat in my basement, adored, but unused for 3 years. Then in July of 2009, my parents were in town for their annual 4th of July visit and (as usual), my mom wanted to stop at a craft store. While I was waiting, I was thinking about those Job's Tears seeds and walking up and down the beading aisle trying to decide what might look good with them. I bought an unakite pendant, some unakite chips, some wood beads and shell beads and took them home. I made one necklace f job's tears, wood, unakite and shell that I really liked. My mom liked it so much, she had me make a job's tears necklace for her, too. I had a few materials left over so I just tried to come up with as many different designs as I could until I ran out. Well, I was hooked! I had more job's tears in my tin, so I went out and bought more gemstone and wood to go with them!! I had begun making jewelry and couldn't stop, so I figured that I'd better start selling them before we ended up drowning in them, and it's been a fantastic merry-go-round of design, color, textures and beauty ever since.
I found that it's best not to grow job tears in a fertile vegetable garden space, and that they don't need very much water or looking after. I've written up what I've learned about growing job tears in my gardening adventures, so if you want to join in the fun and try growing some job tears of your own:
Want your own Job's Tears desktop background?
Click on the image of job's tears to the left. In the window that opens with the image in it, you'll see the cursor becomes a magnifying glass.
Click once on the job's tears image to magnify it and then right click and select Save As and then save it to your Pictures file on your computer.
Now you can set it as your background image, Enjoy!