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dZi beads?


#1

Can anyone tell me what the genuine old dZi beads are? Most new ones
I see seem to be glass, but I’m also seeing old dZi, some of which
are natural agate, and then there are eye and tiger pattern beads in
a material I can’t identify.

Are there any good books on the subject? Can anyone recommend a
reputable dealer in genuine old dZi?

Thanks,
Karen
in Boulder, CO


#2

Karen, check out “Collectible Beads” by Robert K. Liu. He’s also the
editor of Ornament Magazine, and is pretty much recognized as one of
the two or three people in the country who are experts in topic of old
beads. (In fact, I think he often shows dZi beads in the Ornament ad
for his book.) You can order his book at 760-599-0222. It’s $39.95.
Good luck.

Rene Roberts


#3

Karen, I don’t know about old dZi beads, but I have purchased some
lately that are agate. Mostly carnelian and black agate. They are
really neat and you can get them in mixed strands that includes
nectar, tiger, lotus and others or in strands of just one pattern.
(The mixed were about $17 and the single pattern strands ran about
$20). I have seen them much more expensive at other dealers but I got
mine from Mary at New Generation. Her address is: P.O. Box 250
Manalapan, New Jersey 07726 phone: 732-972-9389

Her Rep at the last show also called them “Toba” beads. Why, I will
never know. dZi beads are made by painting an alkaline metallic paint
on the bead then firing it to a certain temperature, creating the
permanent pattern. Aren’t they cool???

Suzanne


#4

Karen: dZi beads are a naturally occurring form of agate found in the
Himalayas, primarily in Tibet. The beads are prized among Tibetans
because of the pattern of “eyes” that appear on these cylindrical
beads. Value is determined by the number of eyes, with nine being
very high and rare, and also by the distinctness of the eye pattern.

There are lots of copies and fakes. Because fine dZi beads can bring
several thousand dollars apiece, the Chinese have been flooding the
market with fakes.

If you are interested in the real thing, please contact Pelgye Kelden
at Do Kham in NYC. 212 966-2404. 51 Prince St. New York, NY 10012.
Please tell him I sent you. He is a wonderful resource for these
beads, and very knowledgeable. He is well known and respected in the
Tibetan community.

Contact me if you need more Doug Zaruba


#5
  Karen: dZi beads are a naturally occurring form of agate found in
the Himalayas, primarily in Tibet. The beads are prized among
Tibetans because of the pattern of "eyes" that appear on these
cylindrical beads. 

Karen, The agate is naturally occurring, but the patterns are
etched, even in the oldest dZi beads (unless you subscribe to the
Tibetan belief that they were made in heaven). Go to the following
site for an excellent article on dZi, including an explanation of how
they are made (page 5):
http://www.sinorama.com.tw/en/1998/199809/709026e1.html

Beth