Sunday, October 04, 2009

In the past few years a number of ancient dZi beads are being seen in the marketplace with a new type of repair. Sometimes it is the restoration of only a small fragment or chip, however, this large two eyed bead has had both ends replaced with polymer (Keats, pers. com.). The work is often so good that it is hard to notice with the naked eye but under closer scrutiny it is much more obvious.

If purchasing an ancient bead one should check the bead very carfeully for damage. A very light tapping of the bead on your teeth is a good way to detect stone from the polymer areas. Using a UV light or taking a macro photograph should also show up any differences between the repair and the original stone. The above bead was repaired in Tibet but this method is also being used in Nepal. According to Dr James Keats, this is probably a polymer used widely by the dental profession and has been available for the last 10 years.

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