dzi beads

Mystery of Tibetan dZi beads

From ancient times mysterious Tibetan lands and the Himalayas were famous with their miracles and magic amulets. Not only local population still believes in the power of these amulets, but also many people all over the world. DZi beads (they are also called GZI or ZI) are considered to be one of the most esteemed Tibetan amulets.

Many legends are associated with dZi beads. They are believed to be powerful protection of a person from different troubles, acts of God, enemies and bad energy. One of the most recognizable accidents in our times is the example, when almost all the passengers died in the plane crash in Nagoya. But among those who survived there was a person who was wearing the amulet with 9 eye dZi bead. Since then 9 eye dZi beads have become very popular not only in Asia but also in Europe. It is also believed that dZi beads are able to attract luck for their owner. It may be Money luck or Love luck or career luck and glory success. It all depends on the pattern on dZi beads. I will tell you about the patterns and their meanings in details in my coming materials. Now I would like to tell you about dZi beads.

dzi beads

According to a legend dZi beads were not hand-made. They were sent to people by Higher Forces to protect and help them. Later there was a stone hand etching. Up to now the patterns created by nature are very valuable

From ancient times dZi beads were made of Himalayan agate. They also were made of agate-carnelian. The patterns on dZi beads were etched with special solution, and then they were burnt. Not many ancient recipes and methods of making dZi beads are extant. Many of them are still mysterious. Really ancient dZi beads are very expensive today. These are rare collectable museum pieces. It is worth noting that agate is not the single material from which dZi beads are made although it is basic and more frequently met material). Sometimes there are dZi beads of different stone. Seldom ancient dZi beads of bone can be met. The modern souvenir dZi beads are also made of glass and plastic (but it is only imitation, just souvenir).

Now in the market there are “younger” dZi beads, many of which are artificially aged – but they are also very popular. DZi beads cost depends on rarity, quality, and energy put in the bead. Energetic power is the power which followed dZi beads during the whole process of making.

For example, if similar dZi beads were made in large quantities (for sale), they will be cheaper. If dZi bead was made by the monks, they took the stone from holy places, blessed it, said grace, then such dZi bead will cost much more expensive. Just because it has powerful energy.

There are different dZi beads. Most famous (especially among those who are interested in Feng Shui) are classic brown dZi beads made of hard agate with white pattern etching (on the left picture).

The most modern glazed and shiny dZi beads cost not much. They are made for bulk selling. Nevertheless sacral symbols painted on such beads have particular energy too (maybe, it is not so powerful as dZi beads from pagodas have).
crystal dzi beads

There are also cut-glass dZi beads with added Himalayan quartz crystals (on the right picture). These are also modern dZi beads on which the patterns are cut out. It is desirable to additionally bless modern beads in pagoda. Let Buddhist monk-lama say the grace for the bead.

dzi stripOne more modern and not expensive type of dZi beads is black dZi bead made of pressed agate with crackle etching (little cracks as on the left picture). Such cracks are made due to temperature difference. It is artificial aging. These beads are not expensive, but they are not hard. They are very susceptible to different energies and often they live not long splitting into two equal parts.

DZi bead with technological treatment “Dragon skin” is considered to be a very interesting piece of dZi beads. The picture is below.

One more example is below.

A very good series is dZi beads of bright brown colour with light (often yellow or orange) ends. This is more expensive series. They are harder, more beautiful, often from pagodas and energetically powerful. (But for the last time there are a lot of fakes which can be distinguished by less bright colour and less hard stone).

A very bright and interesting series of dZi beads is the series of dZi beads with so called “leopard spots”.

The hole in such dZi beads plays a great role. If it is old and wide or it has the symptoms of wearing – such dZi bead costs more expensive.



18 thoughts on “Mystery of Tibetan dZi beads

  1. Hi
    This is a very interesting article,
    I live in Finland, I have a Tibetan bead, my grandma gave it to me before she died few years ago, she was quite old then. Before her death, she told me about how important that bead is. She brought the bead from Asia long time a go, and as she was talking she said it is very valuable.
    The beads consist of three differed kind of old stones including one DIZ with 8 eyes (I think) and some other very old stones with two different colours (white and red), seems very old.
    I am thinking of selling all, but I find it difficult to evaluate the price,
    It would be kind of you if you can help me to evaluate the price.

    • Hello, Salmo! Thank you for your interest in the article and your comment. I think these old beads from your grandmother should have a good value. However, I do not consider myself a great specialist in the DZi-bead to give an assessment. I’m very uncomfortable, but it’s true.

    • hi, you can contact me, send me clear pictures, front, back and ends, specially the holes, if its real i will buy it and give you a good price

  2. Hi there… I have a 12 eye dzi bead. My cousin trades ancient artifacts and gave it to me when i was helping him sell some of his overabundance. He says it is authentic and ancient. How do I go about authenticating my bead?
    My name is Dayna and I hope to hear back from you soon.

    • Dear Dayna! You are lucky! I think you need to contact an expert. Although the expertise relating to archeology and the age of the subject is quite expensive. In any case, you have a good collection items, store them.

  3. Dzi stones made their first appearance between 2000 and 1000 BC, in ancient India: a few hundred thousand were supposedly brought back by Tibetan soldiers from Persia during a raid. The malicious effect of the “evil eye” was taken very seriously by these people. Dzi were considered to counteract the evil eye. The artisans who made the dzi created amulets with “eyes” on them as a “fight fire with fire” form of protection. Artisans used agate as the base stone, and then embellished the beads lines and shapes using ancient methods that remain mysterious. Treatments may have included darkening with plant sugars and heat, bleaching and white line etching with natron, and protecting certain areas with grease, clay, wax or a similar substance. A hole was drilled before the bead was decorated as drilling caused most breakage during the production process, and holes were also useful for stringing and dipping numerous beads as a step in coloration. The earliest holes were conical and done with solid drill bits drilling from both ends and, hopefully, meeting near the center of the bead. Very small drill tips of chipped flint were used without abrasives and numerous other materials, regardless of hardness, when used with abrasives…

    • Dear Tom! Sorry, but I shortened your comment. This is generally known information. Text from Wikipedia. I don’t understand why posting this text in a comment. I know it. And I think that everyone who is interested in Tibetan amulets also know this information.

  4. Can you leave your email? I have a dzi bead and would like to know the estimate price of it.

    • Hello Moon! I can’t rate the beads from the photograph. Also, I’m not a big stone expert. You should contact a professional. I am sorry.

  5. hi natalia, I have a dzi bead. i was wondering if it was authentic. are you able to tell if i send you pictures?

  6. what is the best way to know if beads are old? should they be carbon-dated I have recently purchased some Dzi beads
    can you tell if I send you photos

    • Hello dear Ernest! It is difficult to give accurate information on photography, especially since I do not consider myself a great specialist in minerals. I know only about the energetic properties of dZi beads and the rituals.
      I hope for your understanding.

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