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Bead ID please
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Posted by: lindabd Post Reply
01/12/2016, 06:51:40

Hello everyone,
What a great site!
I've been interested in beads for many years - mainly focused on glass beads of all kinds - but a recent trip to a Goodwill store turned this up.
I'm convinced that it is an ancient bead, though I've read somewhere that Pema raka beads are not.
It is so beautiful I can't quite believe it.
Help?
Many thanks

IMG_3155.JPG (213.9 KB)  IMG_3162.JPG (221.0 KB)  


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Re: Bead ID please
Re: Bead ID please -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: lindabd Post Reply
01/13/2016, 13:35:13

Hello bead lovers..
My question is, is this a Pema Raka bead? Is there someone who has seen a lot of these? Is the quality of workmanship on this bead typical?
The perforation is so perfect… straight through and like a mirror in there.
Many thanks for any response.
LD

IMG_3157_2.JPG (147.3 KB)  IMG_3158_2.JPG (150.5 KB)  


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Re: Re: Bead ID please
Re: Re: Bead ID please -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: judy Post Reply
01/13/2016, 17:54:26

the pema raka beads that I've had do not have ends that look like yours. I have attached pictures so that you can see mine.

pema_raka_11_bcn.jpg (59.3 KB)  pema_raka_11c_bcn.jpg (93.7 KB)  


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I have had hundreds of original Pema Rakta beads, and this looks authentic...
Re: Re: Bead ID please -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: jake Post Reply
01/13/2016, 19:05:06

The conchoidal percussion fractures look authentic from the photos supplied. More photos including the perforation will help.

www.nomadbeads.com

Modified by jake at Wed, Jan 13, 2016, 22:44:12

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Re: I have had hundreds of original Pema Ratka beads, and this looks authentic...
Re: I have had hundreds of original Pema Rakta beads, and this looks authentic... -- jake Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: lindabd Post Reply
01/13/2016, 20:39:47

Hello!
Thank you so much for your response!
Attached are two photos of the perforation. Sorry about the quality - if the rain would let up I would take it outside for a shoot.
The bead is 34mm X 18mm.
Cheers,
LD

IMG_3542.JPG (162.6 KB)  IMG_3544.JPG (160.6 KB)  


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Hello LD, Hard to know from these photo's, but IMHO could be an authentic Pema Rakta
Re: Re: I have had hundreds of original Pema Ratka beads, and this looks authentic... -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: jake Post Reply
01/13/2016, 22:41:41

For a better chance of consensus, post better photos, maybe remove cord, and focus deeper into perforation.

Enjoy your bead.

www.nomadbeads.com
Related link: A reliable Comercial web page re- Pema Rakta
Modified by jake at Wed, Jan 13, 2016, 23:13:26

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It is a very beautiful reproduction.
Re: Bead ID please -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Frederick II Post Reply
01/13/2016, 18:15:38

Hi Linda,

I have seen many nearly authentic looking reproductions of antique Pema Raka beads in Beijing as long as seven years ago. They were being offered as authentic antique ones, but at lower prices. I feel your bead appears be one of the new ones. The surface texture and aperture are subtle clues for comparison purposes. In person they do appear to be nearly the same.

Just Fred

P.S. Please provide measurements and, if I get a chance, I may photograph a number of old ones for you.



Modified by Frederick II at Sun, Jan 17, 2016, 03:49:14

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Re: It is a very beautiful reproduction.
Re: It is a very beautiful reproduction. -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: lindabd Post Reply
01/13/2016, 20:48:31

Hello Just Fred,
Thank you for your response. I'll include another photo here - because none of them are doing this thing justice for me.
It is 34mm X 18mm as I've now mentioned above.
Repros are so dang good - do you have any repro photos??
Cheers,
LD

IMG_3533.JPG (182.3 KB)  IMG_3536.JPG (194.8 KB)  


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another photo
Re: Re: It is a very beautiful reproduction. -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: nishedha Post Reply
01/14/2016, 09:37:19

The holes look better in these images. I have slightly photoshoped one of them. It looks good -- a really nice bead -- although somehow not like the pemarakas I am used to.

1_IMG_3533.JPG (100.0 KB)  


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Re: It is a very beautiful reproduction.
Re: It is a very beautiful reproduction. -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: lindabd Post Reply
01/14/2016, 12:04:30

Hello Fred,
I have read that there ways to fake the circular marks that occur when a bead of a certain density has been interred in ground that freezes and thaws.
This bead appears to have several of such marks. Can you identify whether or not they are authentic?
Many thanks for whatever attention you can give this.
LD

IMG_3565.JPG (129.4 KB)  


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the hole is not as it should if ancient
Re: Bead ID please -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: nishedha Post Reply
01/14/2016, 00:45:50



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Re: the hole is not as it should if ancient
Re: the hole is not as it should if ancient -- nishedha Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: lindabd Post Reply
01/14/2016, 12:09:34

Hello Nisheda,
I promise to stop.
Here are a couple of better images of the perforation. I see that if I'm to pursue this I'll need a proctoscope for my iPhone.
The vibe of this bead really is different from the examples I've seed online and in the collection of a friend.
Thank you for having a look.
LD

IMG_3553.JPG (204.3 KB)  IMG_3555.JPG (202.0 KB)  


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Not bad. Nicer the pinky butt.
Re: Re: the hole is not as it should if ancient -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: nishedha Post Reply
01/14/2016, 13:02:46



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Re: Re: the hole is not as it should if ancient
Re: Re: the hole is not as it should if ancient -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rubyzane Post Reply
01/14/2016, 13:05:22

Hi Linda,
No need to stop? We've all (or at least I have) been as excited as you are right now. Irregardless if it's Pema Raka or not...I know that feeling when I find a new bead of piece & I just want to share with anyone who has the same passion or appreciation. So, express your feelings! I have a good amount of Pema Raka's & I agree that this seems to be different. Not focusing on the holes as everyone has, but there is something in the look of the stone itself..it's markings/striations perhaps. But it doesn't look modern, & it's a beautiful nice large bead..I would be loving it just as much as you! I'll try to post some photos as well of mine. Lynne



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Re: Re: Re: the hole is not as it should if ancient
Re: Re: Re: the hole is not as it should if ancient -- Rubyzane Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: lindabd Post Reply
01/14/2016, 20:06:42

Hi Lynne,
Thank you so much for your response here. I've long been impassioned by beads - though not until now ancient stone ones. I don't know why I didn't sign on to this site earlier. Every posting makes me smile. Some make me dance.
Most people have no idea…
Looking forward to whatever images you post.
LD



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I don't think LD's bead should be labeled a reproduction.
Re: Re: the hole is not as it should if ancient -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: jake Post Reply
01/14/2016, 15:48:09

Here is a nice example of an ancient mellon Pema Rakta with a square edged perforation.

1_FullSizeRender.jpg (97.7 KB)  1_FullSizeRender_2.jpg (139.9 KB)  
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Previously seen here... Examples of my craft.
Re: I don't think LD's bead should be labeled a reproduction. -- jake Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: jake Post Reply
01/14/2016, 16:09:34

1798519_10203648644923047_800639311_n.jpg (38.3 KB)  1011021_10203641427662620_509771199_n.jpg (65.9 KB)  
www.nomadbeads.com

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Re: Previously seen here... Examples of my craft.
Re: Previously seen here... Examples of my craft. -- jake Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: lindabd Post Reply
01/14/2016, 20:09:56

Hey! I saw this in a Pinterest post when I first started to learn about my bead. What a fabulous necklace! What beautiful beads!!!
Thank you for posting.
LD



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2 more pictures
Re: I don't think LD's bead should be labeled a reproduction. -- jake Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: judy Post Reply
01/14/2016, 16:14:57

The pema raka that have passed through my hands have an irregular shape and are an opaque deep red in color. Here are 2 more beads. The coin measures 16 mm in diameter

pema_raka_7bcn.jpg (88.5 KB)  pema_raka_13bcn.jpg (90.3 KB)  


Modified by judy at Thu, Jan 14, 2016, 16:18:51

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Sweet Judy... Two more
Re: 2 more pictures -- judy Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: jake Post Reply
01/14/2016, 16:20:34

1_IMG_2021.JPG (151.8 KB)  1_IMG_2031_-_Version_3.jpg (105.2 KB)  
www.nomadbeads.com

Modified by jake at Thu, Jan 14, 2016, 16:21:47

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your pema raka are superb! we did the last two postings simultaneously!
Re: Sweet Judy... Two more -- jake Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: judy Post Reply
01/14/2016, 18:05:24



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Re: I don't think LD's bead should be labeled a reproduction.
Re: I don't think LD's bead should be labeled a reproduction. -- jake Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Odan Post Reply
01/15/2016, 08:39:50

Again...we seem to judge an ancient bead by the ware at the perforations.
Not all beads have been worn for centuries. Not all beads have signs of chord sawing.
I've seen plenty of fake marks on beads and usually there are many of these crescent marks on the fakes. They are made by passing the bead through a steel roller. These machines will make dozens of these marks on the surface of the bead, not just a few like the bead in question.
As for chord sawing....This happens when a bead is lucky enough to have been worn for hundreds of years. Not all beads are this lucky.
Even on informational sites like dzibeads.co.uk and ancientbead.com discuss and show examples of ancient beads without chord sawing or surface marks.
There were more beads made then just the few we have been able to collect. Many....Never survive more then a few months before they are lost one way or another.
Many beads were purchased just for a burial and are never worn by anyone living.
Looking down inside the perf's of this bead shows a very clean and smooth channel where as fakes generally have drilling dust imbedded in the channel.
It really comes down to trust and honesty of the seller.
Finding a trust worthy dealer is the key to getting great beads.
So don't rely solely on chord ware or dings on the surface.



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Re: Re: I don't think LD's bead should be labeled a reproduction.
Re: Re: I don't think LD's bead should be labeled a reproduction. -- Odan Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: karavanserai Post Reply
01/16/2016, 13:18:52

I follow your thoughts on this, but even a trustworthy seller can't always read the history of a bead especially if not used intensively, or not having bought it at the source yet a trustworthy seller might be the best garanty one can get.

martine

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Some help plse to understand the comments
Re: Bead ID please -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: karavanserai Post Reply
01/15/2016, 06:10:37

Hi everyone, I have never held an ancient pema raka in my hands and I am desperate to understand some of your comments.

1. the hole: should the opening be completely eroded into a saddle like form like Judy's to have the name 'ancient' attributed? I see pema rakas on Jake's necklace where it is not the case and the hole of lindabd's bead does not seem to have sharp edges either . I even clearly see wear from a cord on her bead. So I am a bit confused what the fysical state should be of an ancient pema raka's opening

2. colour: I always read that a deep opaque colour is crucial to name a pema raka a pema raka - ancient or not. lindabd's bead is indeed somehow lighter in colour and texture than Judy's bead and Jake's beads. Yet the last bead before the round end bead of Jake's necklace (see thread 'sweet Judy... two more') does not have that very opaque colour. Or is the defining characteristic here maybe the wear of the hole, the patina,...?

3.patina: I know of the comments and remarks made on BCN regarding faking ancient beads and I am not after these, but are there any particular pema raka patina peculiarities one should look for?

4. ancient, antique, vintage: I know it is difficult to explain such things without having beads in your hands to show, but is it possible for someone to point out the most important elements to look at to determine which of the 3 categories a pema raka belongs to?

Any attempt to bring some clarity here will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

martine

Modified by karavanserai at Fri, Jan 15, 2016, 07:14:12

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Re: Some help plse to understand the comments
Re: Some help plse to understand the comments -- karavanserai Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: rubyzane Post Reply
01/15/2016, 11:05:07

Hi Martine,
I've read so much about these beads & find that it makes me feel less certain of what a pema raka bead really is rather than more knowledgable!
I've read Jamey's comments on BCN so many times, referring to the pictures he discusses, & definitely get confused on some of his absolutes. I agree Garuda has a great legitimate site, but even some of his beads shown there would not appear to be what I consider pema raka. So, perhaps we shouldn't all be trying to find that one perfect reflection of a pema raka bead. Perhaps it doesn't have to only reflect those specific characteristics??? I only know, as I always love to add to my collection, that what I love in these is their warm beautiful colors & soft wear in shape & hole because to me that makes me think of so many different hands & fingers from so many cultures just rubbing & loving & holding them as I do :) That's my perspective at least! Lynne



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Some pics of mine
Re: Bead ID please -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: rubyzane Post Reply
01/15/2016, 10:49:57

These are some of my favorites. As per Martine's questions & all of the previous questions on this sort of bead over the years, perhaps I have labeled mine incorrectly, as I remember Jamey had such strong feelings on what was or was not a pema raka. But whether the following photos depict pema raka or just lovely old carnelian beads, I love them!

1_Pema_Raka_beads-qpr.jpg (165.5 KB)  Pema_Raka1-qpr.jpg (177.2 KB)  


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2 more....
Re: Some pics of mine -- rubyzane Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: rubyzane Post Reply
01/15/2016, 10:51:21

1_PemaRakaB-qpr.jpg (175.4 KB)  1_PemaRakaMedCU2-qpr.jpg (139.2 KB)  


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& others...
Re: Some pics of mine -- rubyzane Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: rubyzane Post Reply
01/15/2016, 10:52:22

1_pemarakaa-qpr.jpg (156.3 KB)  1_pemarakacloseupa1-qpr.jpg (110.8 KB)  


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another type...
Re: Some pics of mine -- rubyzane Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: rubyzane Post Reply
01/15/2016, 10:53:48

1_pemarakacua2-qpr.jpg (171.4 KB)  1_pemarakacua3-qpr.jpg (158.6 KB)  


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final 2 shots
Re: Some pics of mine -- rubyzane Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: rubyzane Post Reply
01/15/2016, 10:54:38

1_pemarakanecklacea-qpr.jpg (117.0 KB)  2_PemaRakaNecklaceBeadhole2-qpr.jpg (144.8 KB)  


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I agree...
Re: Some pics of mine -- rubyzane Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: karavanserai Post Reply
01/16/2016, 13:14:43

These are lovely beads and to me pema raka ancient, antique... your last 2 pictures though show beads similar to those I once saw on Garuda's site and which were referred to as 'Indian carnelian often mistaken for pema raka...' but they are beautiful regardless what they really are. Thank you for showing them Lynne, what a great collection!

martine

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There are clear definitions and exceptions to every rule.
Re: Bead ID please -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Frederick II Post Reply
01/15/2016, 11:57:30

Our debate is what connoisseurship is all about.

And having a bead in your hands does help. Some people have recommended buying examples of known fakes for comparison purposes; this is a good idea. But I don't like having fake beads around me. Besides, a collection of fake examples could easily cost at least one thousand dollars. Ten to thirty dollars at a time can add up quickly.

I just buy what I like. And if it turns out to be honestly represented I feel lucky. Sometimes you never really know. Sometimes you can only offer your professional opinion.



Modified by Frederick II at Sat, Jan 16, 2016, 01:32:53

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Can anyone explain the obvious undercutting...
Re: Bead ID please -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadiste Post Reply
01/16/2016, 15:16:30

...between the white ridges of the fortification pattern?

Quartz is pretty hard - 7 - so it seems it would take something like carborundum to grind the softer layers away like that. None of the other examples presented seems to show this effect.

The effect kind of reminds me of a piece of lox.

Danny?



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My questions: Chinese? Soaked in hydrofluoric acid? Then polished? Therefore salmon effect?
Re: Can anyone explain the obvious undercutting... -- beadiste Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Frederick II Post Reply
01/16/2016, 17:13:55



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Re: My questions: Chinese? Soaked in hydrofluoric acid? Then polished? Therefore salmon effect?
Re: My questions: Chinese? Soaked in hydrofluoric acid? Then polished? Therefore salmon effect? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: lindabd Post Reply
01/16/2016, 21:20:28

Fred, I truly wish I could buy you a cup of coffee and put it in your hand!



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Re: My questions: Chinese? Soaked in hydrofluoric acid? Then polished? Therefore salmon effect?
Re: My questions: Chinese? Soaked in hydrofluoric acid? Then polished? Therefore salmon effect? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: lindabd Post Reply
01/26/2016, 01:49:29

Dear Fred, I've been mulling over this bead and thinking about hydrofluoric acid etc. and this is what I can observe:
At one end of the perforation there is a very shiny area, gently sloping away from the hole, the rest of the plane around the hole is more perpendicular to the hole.
On the other end of the bead there is a gentle little groove at the edge of the perforation.
If I take the string that I've got the bead on and bounce it around, the bead always settles in the same way. Slightly lifted on the sloping side with the slope facing up, slightly down on the other end with the string in the gentle little pocket - always with the same plane facing up.
The areas where the conchoidal fractures can be seen exist on the top and bottom plane of the bead as it is suspended thus. The two perpendicular sides of the bead, front and back, are nearly perfectly smooth - except that the banded lines in the carnelian form ridges wherever they are paler in color than the deep salmony pink of the bead.
So here's a story.. the bead was made a long time ago by someone with lots of skill. The craftsman chose a banded carnelian, paler and with a lot more banding than one would typically see in a Pema Raka - but there are probably many versions of many kinds of beads made over thousands of years and vast territory that stone beads were made around the Himalayas. At some point long ago it was buried or stored in such a way that it froze and thawed creating the blemishes in the surface. It was dug up at some point, worn by someone - then worn and worn and worn until many of the surface blemishes were completely effaced - except for the surfaces not meeting with friction which retained the evidence of the conchoidal fractures.
The seams of paler stone in the bands is harder than the darker stone, so the rubbing of skin and cloth wore grooves between the harder stuff - like wind and sand will do with the grain of wood.
Fast forward…
It shows up in a necklace at Goodwill with some old blue and white cane Venetian beads, a couple of small pieces of nice turquoise, a couple of bright orange tile beads like you see on newer Naga necklaces, and a couple of sweet little silver beads which look like they might be from India.
An artist frustrated by a bad day in the studio bellies up to the jewelry counter and sees an inch of the worn Venetian cane beads through a baggie full of crap and decides to wait until the gal behind the counter is able to put the new stuff on display. After an interminable 10 minutes, the counter girl dumps the baggie and allows the artist to pick up the necklace and accept a gift from the universe.
Could be, right?



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