Monday, September 10, 2012

My Dzi Beads from Tibet

Can beads really be alive? If that's true--these beads were buried alive for at least a couple of years. They surfaced the other day still in the package I bought them in, and I realized that I had never actually done anything with them. I'm sure I bought them at the little Chinese shop I love, probably to use them as a zipper charm or in some mixed media project. But then I read the whole story of what they are. Dzi (pronounced "Zee" beads) are from ancient Tibet and they are thought to be alive, to the point that they have an eye which is warding off the evil for you, and keeping you safe, happy, and even bringing you wealth. Pretty good!

 The ancients made their Dzi beaded necklaces and bracelets from a rock called Agate which had beautiful bands of color in the rock, and could only be found in the nodules of volcanic rocks or ancient lavas. I bought this little necklace because it's very well made with its strong cord and crocheted slide, but I only paid about three dollars for it! The market value for authentic ancient Dzi beads can reach to the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even the new Dzi beads can go for around two thousand. So I'm pretty sure my lovely Dzi bead necklace is a "mock" version, which is also newly popular right now...but it may explain why I wore it for a couple of days, and I'm still not a millionaire! I'm trying to decide if I should wear it every now and then, and give it a chance, or make it into a zipper charm! It's kind of fascinating, though, the whole history of beading and all of the meaning and value behind beads and crystals. I've become a Pandora girl in the last couple of years with my beautiful Pandora bracelet (seven charms and adding!) and my first Pandora ring--and all of their beads have a special significance. It makes me feel so wonderfully ancient and Tibetan!

Recently I read the story of a jewelry maker who owned a gorgeous pendant necklace she absolutely loved. This was long before she discovered jewelry making. When she was getting a divorce, her necklace disappeared, and she was so distraught (she really LOVED that necklace), she moved to a foreign country, and consequently became a jewelry maker at that point. As her business grew, she came back to California, her home state, to do some jewelry shows and she was approached by a lady wearing, what else, but her own treasured necklace from long ago.  She asked the lady about it, and found out that the woman had been friends with the girl her husband had the affair with. He gave the necklace to his mistress and lied to his soon-to-be-ex, and she felt so guilty, she couldn't bring herself to ever wear it and gave it away to her friend--the lady now standing in front of the jewelry maker. The lady was so moved by this incredible coincidence, she handed the necklace back to its original and rightful owner.  The jewelry maker and her beloved necklace were reunited after ten years apart.

I had a very special necklace come back to me once--and my daughter had a ring that came back to her about six or seven times. However, she lost it in the park a few months ago--we're thinking it must have been time for it to leave for good.

Don't you love that your jewelry can be so special and personal that it can come back to you? Or even protect you! I think about that when I'm making my pendants. Love it.



  1. Love the Dzi beads! There is a lot of agate to be picked up off the ground in the UK, especially in Scotland and the north of England. Mr LLJ and I used to go fossicking in the streams - we even found low grade amethyst once! We're both into rocks, stones and general interesting 'stuff'. It's that sort of thing that I like most as jewellery, I'm not a diamonds and pearls girl at all. In fact, I even sold a gold chain and bracelet in order to buy my move ever!!
    Hugs, LLJ xx

  2. Really like this post! Lol. Hope some of my jewelry realize they miss me and come home. Lol