This Week’s Mail from China

Heading home in a box…

P1220004
A mixed bag of beads that I bought from a Ebay dealer of Tibetan goods in Oregon in which they said were all new. Some of these might actually be mammoth bones or off a sabre tooth tiger for all I know. In the majority of cases in which Tibetan beads are being sold on Ebay, they are being sold as new, but that is NOT actually the case, as you can see with this example.

2.2lbs of ancient beads on Ebay and the Ebay Shop- asianjungle77 who sold them to me as “new without tags”.

Other Ebay dealers I’ve spotted carrying similar bones- all in America- assumably the Chinese didn’t want to have any problem with CITES so they dispersed such goods off the mainland along with much of the more readily identifiable Tibetan jewelry:

Beader's Pocket Lint from Tibet
This is a pile of what was left at the end of sorting the 2.2 lbs of bone beads the Ebay dealer said was new. Not something that an indigenous person who is going to get supplies in town is going to trade to someone for cash, but more like pocket lint, the what-have-you- that is left after you totally clean out a person’s pockets of everything they have.
P1220005
This is what I would call a “princess necklace”- though it could have been worn by a man too with classic Tibetan materials of choice for inlay of turquoise, lapis, red coral, and amber. It was sold to me as “new without tags” though its see some heavy use as shown by rubbing and scratches on the metal and the inlay. It was most recently restrung, and some of the beads used to restring were painted red, but the new paint chipped off many of the beads before even taking it out of the package as you can see in this photo.
skullbraceletaa
A silver cuff bracelet that was also sold to me by the same Ebay dealer in India as the princess necklace who assured me it is new. However there were scratches on the side and nose that they didn’t manage to buff out before hand, and his forehead was marked with a “925” stamp- a move that no silversmith would ever do- always marking their jewelry on the back or inside of pieces. Though skulls and bones looks tough and you might think- “Oh, its just biker wear”- this cuff bracelet was so small I couldn’t get it on without bending it being a 5’6″ Caucasian woman. Made for smaller people- like a Tibetan woman- not a big biker dude, definitely.

See this Ebay store in India- silverjewelrista selling exclusively Tibetan items and lying about every piece they sell.

Though stamped "925" to indicate it is made from sterling silver, anyone can get a jeweler's stamp that says 925- and that's just what they did here. Hence the reason it is on the outside of the jewelry, not inside or on the back as well as being upside down.
Though stamped “925” to indicate it is made from sterling silver, anyone can get a jeweler’s stamp that says 925- and that’s just what they did here. Hence the reason it is on the outside of the jewelry, not inside or on the back as well as being upside down.

Other Ebay stores in India with similar business practices that the Chinese have set up with used Tibetan stock (or could be Russian mafia?) or it could be the exact same people as the first store mentioned who have set up these others stores as well:

silverkrishna_925

silverrocks_us

jewels_arts

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