MY FAVORITE ANCIENT BEADS - as seen with my Western eyes

Like a sculptor, if necessary,
carve a friend out of stone.
Realize that your inner sight is blind
and try to see a treasure in everyone.
Rumi Jalalu'l-Din

On this page, you will be able to marvel at beads in a wide cultural, geographical, and historical variety. They come in all shapes, colors, patterns, and conditions. Some of them will be scarred, even almost broken. Others will be so perfect that it is hard to believe that they are ancient.

 What binds them all together?
 

 It is beauty. They are, at least in my opinion, of a highly aesthetic appearance.

 

If you are out hunting for the kind of sublime beauty as shown here, we are on the same, mostly western wavelength. 

 

 However, I have to warn you. The sublime beauties displayed on this particular page are not cheap! They are my favorite beads. I love them as far as you can enjoy not living art-materials and would not mind to keep them as a custodian for this lifetime. Why do I sell some of them and, at the same time, call the My favorite ancient beads? Maybe it is because I am serving the role as a temporary custodian and want them to be appreciated in the hands of their new caretakers. Furthermore, I can still call them 'my favorites' after they are handed over to the next custodian collector. 
 



 



 










 

FAB 1 - 31 * 7 mm - I have named this bead The Ancient Golden Ratio


Displayed above: What a beautiful and slim bead! A rare Ancient Talisman. A multicolored Mauryan eye bead! Nothing is accidental In a high quality crafted bead like this. I marvel at the composition. It is a powerful demonstration of ancient abstract artwork. Note the many different colors in organic and hence not sterile symmetry. 

 

Form, design/motif & color

How a remarkable bead should look like is, of course, a subjective matter. What is beautiful is, as stated often on this site, dependent on the eyes of the beholder. For people in China, the bead has to be perfect without damage. For me, an ancient bead in certain cases increases its beauty by imperfection. It can be remarkable in form, design, motif, color and the story it can tell us. 
 

 







 

FAB 2 - 23 * 9 mm - I call this bead: The Perfect imperfection of Organic Symmetry

 



  

Recently at a bead fair in Bangkok, I had the immense luck to get some for me one out of a million perfection beads. The mainland Chinese buyers did not even look at these rare and perfect beads. For me, they are out of this world but bypassed in the blindness that always comes with greed. A great example is the extremely rare Indo-Parthian bead displayed below:
 

 









 

FAB  3 - 42.5 * 14 mm - The Zarathustra Bead


I have noted that bead lovers in the far east often prefer an eye motive in the center of the bead. However, as seen above the eye is often place according to the golden ratio.
 

 
As a general rule, a sublime ancient bead should display high contrast in both lines and colors. A display of as many distinctive different natural colors as possible further adds to a beads 'remarkability' score. This is particularly true when it comes to agate beads. However, this is not the case with the beads displayed above and below. High contrast and intense colors add to a bead's extroversion score in the sense that a more subtle decorated bead does not scream its message out to the world around you. However, it still can whisper to its wearer. In this sense, beads with lesser contrast in motives and colors are more silent and meditative.
 
 




Shiva's 'lingam' - phallus




Shakti's 'yoni' - vagina





 

FAB 4 - 26 * 13 mm - The Shiva-Shakti Bead


The bead above and the beads to the left below display the same pattern. This is not coincidental. According to the bead experts Malik Hakila and Sanatan Khavadya, this is a Shiva-Shakti motive. The oval circle represents Yoni, the female genital opening, and the almost nail-like shape on the bead represents the phallus of Shiva. Together they symbolize the union of the polarity that permeates the totality of existence from atoms to galaxies. This force is seen as being sexual in the most abstract sense of the word.






 

 









 





FAB 5 - Left bead 18 * 8 mm

 






 
 




 




FAB  6 - (IV-TL 7)   - 24* 10 mm

 

According to the same beads experts as mentioned above, this bead also displays the same Shiva symbol.





 



     

 

 










A one out of a million bead
 







The Stone Rose

 

FAB 7 - 38 * 9,5 * 8 mm - I have baptized this bead 'The Stone Rose'.








Another one out of a million bead







The Buddha Bead

 

FAB 8 - 34 * 9 mm

I have never seen a bead type like the specimen displayed above. This awesome multicolored eye agate bead has a unique clear but ancient shine. It was sourced from Bodh Gaya and it is most probably from the Mauryan period.
 


 


SUBLIME INDUS BEADS
In fact, I consider all my Indus beads, both the early and the late, both perfect and broken, to be remarkable. However, displayed here, you will see some of the most outstanding ones within this category.
 
 









The resurrection Bead
 

 

 FAB 9 - 34,5 * 9,5 mm 

The soft patina on this Indus beauty is remarkable. Most probably, the bead has been calcified through a burial process and then in a later stage been dug out and used for several generations. Otherwise,the surface would not be so smooth. Calcified beads with usage patina are extremely rare.





 
 







 

 

FAB 10 - 37,5 * 10,5 mm - The Sublime bead


Early Indus Valley bead

Here comes a series of my absolute favorite beads! These beads demonstrate that the Indus people searched for rare bead material. Above and below, we have beads made in agate material with jasper inclusions. This is very rare. The intense colors born out of the hybrid stone material  qualifies the bead above to my top-10 list. This material is also sometimes referred to as j
aspagate.





 
 










 

 

FAB 11 - 33 * 11 mm

I have amplified the colors in this Indus bead to make its unique message stand out more clearly: Jasper islands in a sea of agate. This bead is an old fellow. The size of the hole is almost pre-Indus. Material: jaspagate
 
Early Indus Valley bead




 
 





 

 

FAB 12 - 38 * 13 mm

Once again, jasper and agate are working together to make a bead painting. (original a little darker in color)


Early Indus Valley bead





 
 





 

 

FAB 13 - 33 * 13 mm

Agate ocean and islands of jasper


Early Indus Valley bead




 
 







 

 

FAB 14 - 28 * 5/5,5 mm

One can observe the large Indus hole in this slender tubular bead through the translucent stone material. The hole amplifies the inner glow.


Early Indus Valley bead




 
 








 

 

FAB 15 - 35 * 10/11mm


Symbolic eyes made out of crystal formations are very common for ancient beads.


Early Indus Valley bead




 
 








 

 

FAB 16 - 39 * 9,5 mm



Early Indus Valley bead






 
 








 

 

FAB 17 - 34 * 11,5 mm



Early Indus Valley bead






 
 








 

 

FAB 18  - 26 * 8 mm


AGATE AS THE BRINGER OF VIRTUE
I have personally little doubt that the idea of creating and seeing intended symbols primary evolved in agate beads. To create and see eyes and other symbols of long forgotten meanings is easier in agate, simply because the geometric patterns in agate are more uniform and harmonious.


Early Indus Valley bead





 
 








 

 

FAB 19 - 29,5 * 9 mm


DIVINE GEOMETRIC IN SYMMETRY
In agate, the longing for Virtue is expressed in symmetry. As above, so below. The divine harmony is expressed on earth in the perfect symmetric bead. The eye, as I prefer to understand these obviously intended motifs, is here the portal of consciousness.

Early Indus Valley bead

 
 








 

 

FAB 20 - 33 * 9 mm



Early Indus Valley bead






 
 








 

 

FAB 22 - 33 * 24,5 * 8 mm

 


Early Indus Valley bead





 
 








 

 

FAB 23 - 35,5 * 20 * 8 mm




Early Indus Valley bead





 
 





 

FAB 24 - 48 * 42 * 10 mm



Early Indus Valley bead






 
 









 

 

FAB 25 - 29 * 26 * 8 mm



Early Indus Valley bead






 
 









 

 

FAB 26 - 23 * 15 * 7 mm




Early Indus Valley bead





 
 









 

 

FAB 27 - 44 * 19/19,5 mm




Early Indus Valley bead





 
 









 

 

FAB 28 - 40 * 18 mm









 
 







 

FAB 29  - 17 * 10 mm

 
Late Indus valley bead





 
 



 



 

FAB 30  - 21 * 9 mm


There are at least four different colors in this subtle colored banded agate late Indus valley bead.




 
 







 

RB  31  -  17 * 9 mm


A beautiful and highly unusual color blend displaying a symmetrical,
yet swirling motif in agate. Late Indus bead




 
 
 


 

  
 

 

FAB 32 -     17 * 11 mm


Banded multi color jasper. It is very rare to see variegated jasper in bands like displayed on this bead. In this amazing late Indus bead bead you can see at least 6 different colors! You can also see the rare red cinnabar 'blood spots' on this bead. The old craftsmen used copper drills drills to make these holes. How could these people drill such beautiful holes with such primitive tools?
This gorgeous multi colored bead is one of my absolute favorites and it is not for sale.




 
 









 

FAB 33  - 30 *  7,5 mm


Extremely rare intact banded soft sandstone bead. Early Indus Valley bead. How was this fragile bead able to survive so many thousands of years?






 
 








 
 

FAB 34 -   20 * 9 mm


A fantastic late Indus Valley bead with spiraled red and crystal quartz bands!!
I have never seen a bead like this.

 






 

 




 
      


 

FAB 35 --   19 * 10 mm


Late Indus Valley bead. A unique agate bead with 6-colored spiral motif and crystalline bands

One of the simple  reasons behind the creation of these perfect and beautiful holes is time:
Ample of time just to sit with one bead.





 
 




 



 

FAB 36 -

 
A wonderful three colored bead with a golden angel motif. It has stunning artistic banding and color tones.




 
 




 
 



 

FAB 37 - 18 * 10 mm


A multi colored late Indus bead with a beautiful golden angle motif.




 
 






 




 

FAB 38  - 25,5 * 12,5 mm


Early Indus Valley bead




 
 




 




 

FAB 39  - 29,5 * 12 mm



Early Indus Valley bead



 
 




 




 

 

FAB 40 - 25 *17 *6,5 mm

 





 

 



 





 

FAB 41 - 26,5 * 12 mm

 





 

 


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FAB 42  - 26 * 8 mm

 
Late Indus Valley bead




 

 


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FAB 43 - (EIV  44) - 45 * 14 mm


Early Indus Valley bead




 

 


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FAB 44  - 47 * 10,5 mm


A beautiful large holed survivor in agate with an awesome crystal formation.
This ancient beauty has furthermore been colored by the earth it has slept in. Early Indus Valley




 

 


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FAB 45 - 53 * 14 mm


Early Indus Valley bead




 

 


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FAB 46 -  45 * 12 mm -


Early Indus Valley bead





 

 


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FAB 47 - 42 * 10 mm


Early Indus Valley bead




 

 


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FAB 48 - 39 * 10 mm



Early Indus Valley bead




 

 


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FAB 49  - 33 * 10 mm


Early Indus Valley bead




 

 



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FAB 50 - 30,5 * 7 mm


Early Indus Valley bead





 

 




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FAB 51  - 29 * 6 mm


In this early Indus Valley bead the volume of the hole exceeds the volume of the stone material!

 


 

 



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FAB 52 - 33,5 * 8,5 mm


Early Indus Valley bead




 

 


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FAB 53 - 40,5 * 39 * 10,5 mm


Early Indus Valley bead

 


 

 








 

FAB 55 - 35 * 35 * 29 mm


A strange bead I must say. It has a very unusual shape and in the hand it almost feels organic.
Early Indus Valley bead




 

 




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FAB 56 - 34,5 * 9 mm


The calcification in the old Indus fellow has turned him into something even more beautiful than he was in his youth. Early Indus Valley bead




 

 



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FAB 57 - 33,5 * 9,5 mm


Early Indus Valley bead



 

 





 

FAB 58 - 25 * 10 mm



Early Indus Valley bead



 

 


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FAB 59  - 28 * 11,5 mm



Early Indus Valley bead



 

 



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FAB 60  - 32 * 10 mm


Early Indus Valley bead



 

 




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FAB 61  - 38 * 13 mm


Early Indus Valley bead




 

 



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FAB  62 -  36,5 * 11 mm


Early Indus Valley bead




 

 



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FAB 63 -  30 *11 mm



Early Indus Valley bead






 

 





 

FAB 64  - 32 * 9 mm


Early Indus Valley bead






 
 

 




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FAB 65 - 39 * 8,5 mm





VARIOUS ANCIENT BEAD FAVORITES
 

 



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FAB 66 - 26 * 16 mm

 

Another remarkable multicolored agate bead with an infinite dark eye placed within the boundaries of a fiery, sharp, and golden rhombic pattern.

I call this bead 
The Eye of Mordor.

  

Beads are like music

I am also a music composer and producer. When I make live recordings in multilayers in my digital music studio, I am often not able to keep the rhythm in such a way that the sum total of tracks are in sync. In such situations, I am tempted to use a function called   automatic quantize. However, if I use this function, the music becomes sterile and dull. Perfection often equals death.
 

 



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FAB 67 - 23 * 16 mm

 
Note the strong contrasts in this dramatic two eyed sulemani bead in soft blue, strong white and black colors.

I call this bead
Duality in unity
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FAB 68  - 21,5 * 17 * 14,5 mm


Here we have a super sharp all seeing eye bead in a variety of soft autumn colors. I dare to say that these beads rivals the best contemporary art.

I have named this bead
The Autumn Eye
 


 

 



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FAB 69  - 24,5 * 11 mm


The patina and  cracks on this eye-bead is unique in the way it supports and amplifies the natural lines in the original stone. It is almost as if the bead is looking at you!

The name of this bead is
Concentric layers of 'I'
 

 

 




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FAB 70  - 29 mm







 

 



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FAB 71 - 20 mm








 

 



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FAB  - 31 * 11 mm


A wonderful ancient translucent natural banded Chung DZI bead with a unique 'patina'. It displays dual, organic symmetrical swirling stripes. The bead has a translucent fiery orange color, which gives a marvellous contrast to the natural white stripes. This color has been made stronger by ancient heat treatment.

I call this bead Divine Eye Candy

 

 


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FAB 72 - 30 * 10 mm


 





 

 


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FAB 73 - 23,5 * 10,5 mm


 





 

 



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FAB 74 - 19 * 10 mm








 

 



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FAB 75 - 18 * 12,5 * 5,5 mm








 

 



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FAB  76 - 19 * 8,5 mm


Late  Indus Valley bead




 

 



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FAB  77 - 20 * 14 * 10 mm






 

 



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FAB 78 - 22 * 12,5 * 8,5 mm






 

 



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FAB 79   - 25 * 20 * 7 mm






 

 



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FAB 80  - Top left bead: 16 * 14 * 5 mm






 

 



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FAB 81 - SANAT 1 - 47 * 13 mm


I call this bead The Lover of Shiva

The largest Yoni bead I have ever seen!
This super rare Indus bead is made out of amazonite.






 

 

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Contact: Gunnar Muhlman - Gunnars@mail.com

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