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replicaEach of these precious beads is sold as a single bead, for $6.50* (or 20% less if you use your friends & fans discount, SAVE20). If you are interested in more or the whole set, please let us know!

These are modern handcrafted beads made in the tradition of ancient dZi beads (pronounced ZEE). Few beads are surrounded by as much myth and mystery as the dZi bead. The authentic/original etched agates are found in Tibet, Bhutan, Ladakh, and Nepal, and are believed to be about two thousand years old. Many legends accompany the beads- that they were not made by man but created by the gods, that they bring luck and ward off evil, that they protect the wearer from physical harm by taking the abuse upon themselves, and that the bead itself will choose its' owner and will not stay with an unlucky person. 

We actually acquired these in India, but we believe they are every bit as beautiful, with their rich Carnelian color and traditional etched designs. We have several in a variety of colors, so let us know if you want additional photos. If you purchase from this posting, you will receive one like that shown in the two close-up shots, unless you specify otherwise.


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black opalThe Fish and the Stone: A Fable for Gem Connoisseurs

It happened in 1979, and I remember it as if it was yesterday. I was on my little boat, overlooking the deep and liquid expanse of Fenton Lake, near Los Alamos, New Mexico. I had just been trolling by lantern-light, trying to attract the fish that had eluded me all day. The sounds of the night -- the crickets and singing bugs -- had started up.

After at least an hour of waiting patiently, there was a tug on my line, and I pulled in a wriggling yellow perch. I raised my knife to cut its head off, to end its misery of drowning in air, and did so -- quickly. The head fell off into my little plastic bucket, but at the same time, something shiny tumbled out. I couldn't believe my eyes. I didn't know much about gemstones, but that's what it appeared to be. Rough cut, but with sparkling lights coming from its depths, like an opal! I rowed back to the shore, excited. My wife Roberta was already in the tent, having eaten a can of beans for dinner in case my bad luck continued. 

"Roberta, look!" I said, pushing back the canvas flap and holding the stone out for her to see, my lantern casting yellow light on the darkness around us.

"What is it?" she asked.

"I don't know, exactly, but I think it's an opal. I found it inside a fish I caught."

Roberta took it in her small hand and turned it this way and that in the light. "I can't believe it. It was inside the fish?"

"Yes, in its mouth, or maybe its head. It fell out when I started to clean it."

"It looks valuable," she said. "Let's put it someplace safe for now."

So we did. We wrapped it in a paper towel and then put it in a collapsible plastic cup we had with the dishes, and took it home. Being the very busy people we were at that time, we promptly forgot about it. We moved into a different apartment, then after seven long years of saving our money, a humble little house.

One day, Roberta found the stone in a dusty box she had been unpacking. I decided I wanted to put it in a ring for Roberta. We went to a dealer of precious metals and gemstones. The owner of the shop seemed too busy to pay much attention to us, but eventually he looked our way. When he saw the stone, he became very interested indeed.

To be continued...

If you enjoyed this blog post, you might also enjoy 'the post 'Funny Bead Story'.


0 # Niki 2013-05-21 18:47
Loved this story. Who wrote it?
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0 # Sheila McLaughlin 2013-05-21 22:15
Thank you, Niki! I wrote it (Sheila Ortego McLaughlin -- the Mom half of our team). Whew, I'm so releived to get the nice comments! I thought it might be a little too strange to mix fiction with enthusiasm for beads/beading/j ewelry-making, but hey -- I thought I'd gamble that the beading enthusiasts might also have great literary sensibilities! I've previously published a novel, but this is my first foray into 'published' flash fiction. I'm sure it could use some fine-tuning, too -- but I was just having fun. Again, THANKS SO MUCH!
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