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LadyTanya65, Certified Appraiser
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 2185
Experience:  25+ years experience in Antiques, Certified Appraiser, Speaker, Member of AOA, Asheford Institute Antiques,and I am an Antique Researcher
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Need info on antique dzi beads Where are they from (region,

Customer Question

Need info on antique dzi beads Where are they from (region, time period, value etc)
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  LadyTanya65 replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a certified appraiser I would be happy to help you.

The dzi bead is one of the most mysterious of all the beads known to human being today. Numerous attempts to trace back to their source yield fruitlessly although many dzi beads have been passed down from generations to generations. They exist seemingly in isolation, as if snapped from a chain, with no links to their past. It is unclear to many bead scholars the exact origin of dzi bead, why, when and how it was manufactured. The fact is these tiny stone beads patterned with mystical eyes are one of the most treasured beads in the world today. The Tibetans believe the dzi beads are the precious jewels with supernatural origin.

There are many myths and legends in Tibet describing the origin of the bead. Among the many myths and legends that follow the dzi, the main belief is that the gods created them. The Tibetan theorized divine origin rendered the dzi to be precious and powerful talismans. Most Tibetans will not let go of it because this may cause bad luck to them. In addition, the rarity of the bead makes them as valuable as diamonds in Tibet.

Most Tibetans believe that the dzi were once insects that lived in a kind of nest call “dzi tshang” in Tibet. When the insects were unearthed they will continue to move for a while and eventually become petrified in the form of dzi that exist today. There are stories say that the dzi were once insects but became petrified by the touch of human hand, or by the people with good karma, or by woman’s shirt.

Another legend said that there was a time when Tibet was overwhelmed by severe epidemic and the Tibetans were facing very hard life. Fortunately, the compassionate Vajravarahi Buddha came to rescue by releasing the magical Dzi Beads from the sky. The beads are believed to bring good luck, ward off evil, and protect the wearer from physical harm.

The beads you have do not look to be authentic Dzi beads. The most obvious sign of true aging are the tiny, natural, circular cracks or blemishes that appear on the surface of the bead to a greater or lesser degree depending of the density of the stone and its age. Beads that have been buried a long time will show this effect, probably due to water getting in and then expanding and contracting due to freezing in the seasonal changes of the climate. A lot of the modern copies also have these circular markings on them which are artificially created and the key to telling the difference between the modern and the old is to inspect the cracks with a 10 x loop or magnifying glass. On the original beads the circular cracks are worn, and have a rounded edge to them where the crack goes into the stone, usually from being worn for millennia. The modern ones tend to have a sharp more squared edge to them where the stone's surface has been ground and polished after the aging effect has been applied to create the effect of wear.

After carefully reviewing the photo of your beads I would say the value is 18.00 -22.00 each on the secondary market. They are commonly sold at gem and bead shows held throughout the united states. they began producing these types of beads in the 1990s.

If I can be of further service please let me know.