Ancient dZi Beads from 2500BC to 500AD.
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Chung dZi     Etched Carnelian and Agate Necklace     Various Chung dZi      
 
Various Chung dZi, Etched Carnelians and Eye beads
 
 The beads in this album are of various types and come from a wide variety of regions.
 
 
 
Huge natural Eye Luk Mik dZi
 
This eye bead is a natural unetched bead and is enormous, measuring about 36mm.
These beads were worn to protect the wearer from the "Evil Eye" and were highly valued and
anyone owning such a bead was considered fortunate. They were often used to seal a deal by
traders on the Silk road, and so can be found in all parts of Asia. I bought this bead many years
ago from an old Tibetan lady I met in a shop in Dharamsala, N. India. The shopkeeper was not
able to buy it at that time and told me that the woman needed to sell it to pay for her husband's
funeral, and could I possibly help her out. Of course I was more than happy to oblige and add
a great bead to my collection. This type of bead can also be seen mounted in gold.
Value maybe $1000 or more.
 
 
 
 
Double eye bead
 
This etched bead is approx. 16mm and is very unusual in that it has markings both sides. I bought
it from an old Buddhist monk in Ladakh, N. India in 1981. We had become quite friendly over a
period of about two months, and he had many pieces of dZi but none that I could afford. He offered
 this bead to me just as I was leaving the area. It is remarkable in that it had the classic eye on one
side, and a Western style Celtic cross on the other. When he gave it to me the monk pointed at the
eye and then pointed to himself. He then pointed at the cross, stretched out his arms indicating the crucifixion and then pointed at me! He spoke no English, but I understood that he was telling me that this bead had the symbols of both of our religions. Sadly it was accidentally broken and has been repaired, otherwise its value would be high, as it is unique.
 
 

 
 
Monk's Hat beads
 
These two conical etched carnelians are called "Monks Hat" dZi and are worth around $150 - $200 each.
 

 
 
 
Etched bead with cross
 
This bead despite its possible early Christian symbolism it is not connected to Christianity, and has
likely Buddhist origins. The cross was the symbol of the old Buddhist city of Taxila, located in what is now Pakistan, and dates back as far as 500BC. This bead is possibly from that area and time and is
 in particularly good condition, and would be valued at around $100+. 16mm square.
 

 
 
 
Afghan Sulemani Agate
 
This bead is believed to come from the Afghanistan region and is made from a type of agate
called Sulemani agate. Legend has it that this type of agate originated from the lost mines of King Solomon. Not long after I had bought it in 1981, I was wearing it when it was spotted by an
Afghan refugee from the war with the Russians, who got extremely excited on seeing the bead
and informed me that it originated from his country, that it was approx. 1500 years old and that it
was highly valuable and sought after in his country. I asked him if there was a specific reason
why it was so valuable, and he said because it could be sold to Americans,who would pay big
money for it! So it was for commercial rather than spiritual reasons that he rated it so highly.
It is a large bead measuring 47mm x 15mm, but it has been well looked after throughout its history
and is in exceptionally fine condition. Hard to value as it does not easily compare with other beads,
 
but around $300 -350.
 

 
 
 
Mixed Chung dZi necklace.
 
This mainly unetched necklace has probably been put together in recent times as the beads in it
vary greatly in age, probably by over 1500 years. The big single eyed Chung dZi is a beautiful
bead in excellent condition and is large measuring 43mm x 18mm. The eye is perfect and it would
have a market value of at least $800. There is only one etched bead in it and it is only two thirds
of a bead. The whole necklace is probably worth around $1800 - 2500 retail.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Detail of Mixed Chung dZi Necklace
 

 
 
 
Various Chung dZi
 
 
 
 
Detail Of Various Chung dZi
 

 
 
 
Various Chung dZi Beads
 

 
 
 
Etched and unetched Chung dZi Necklace
 
This is my own personal necklace and contains all my favourite beads collected over the last 
32 years.
 

 
The following pictures are of a Sassanian stamp seal made from Chalcedony that was bought on
a string of Chung dZi, but without either myself of the seller knowing about. It wasn't until much later that I discovered what it was.
 
 
 
        
 
I discovered this seal by mistake as it was included in a job lot of Chung dZi. It was some find as
it is worth more than I paid for the job lot! I have tried to research the cockerel but have found
nothing of significance. The quality of the carving is exceptional. Chalcedony is a hard stone
measuring 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale, the maximum being a diamond at 10, so it would have to
have been carved with something harder than 8, and there is not much choice. Corundum at
a hardness of 9, to which Ruby and Sapphire belong, or more likely diamond. It is also unusual in
that dome seals usually have a flat side where the design is carved, but I have never seen a seal
cut like this on the curve. It would have been a lot more difficult to do and keep the perspective.
It measures 20 mm in diameter, and 14 mm at its widest point.