dZi beads (pronounced- "zee"; alternative spelling: gzi) have a long, rich history. dZi are stone beads of uncertain origin but In several cultures, most commonly in Tibetan culture, the bead is believed to provide positive spiritual benefits. The most valuable dZi beads are several thousand years old and made of natural agate The original source of these beads is a mystery. While the traditional, ancient beads are greatly preferred, new modern-made dzi are gaining popularity, especially among Tibetans.
The great mystery of ancient dZi is how they managed to get the colors and markings on the surface without breaking or cracking the stone. The Silica family of stones, which includes agate, is particularly susceptible to heat, which will crack or even shatter the stone. The modern technique of heating the stone without damaging it was discovered relatively recently, using technology which heats the stone in a vacuum.
Since agate is porous, it contains air and moisture within the stone which when heated, expands and causes the stone to crack. In a vacuum the air has been removed which greatly reduces the chance of cracking. This technology was not available 100 years ago in remote Tibet. It certainly was not around thousands of years ago, hence the mystery of how they were made.
We are proud to offer dZi style beads made of natural agate including several different colors and styles. Using modern technology we are able to continue the tradition of these beautiful ancient dZi beads.