Dying in A Sea of Blue

 

Throughout Tibet blue can be seen flashing brightly as bluebirds who flutter around necks and in hair, or at the very least, rather inconspicuously in the ears, though a person may not own very many other material possessions, they at least have a necklace or two or some earrings.

Just as the Nazis had done before them, these pieces of jewelry, beads and charms, sometimes handed down for generations have been confiscated from so-called enemies of the state which mainly included minorities, devout religious followers and a huge group of teachers and scholars who were imprisoned or executed, and their things were stockpiled by the Chinese Communists. It has been going on for over 50 years and has involved quite a few more individuals, families and generations than the Nazi Holocaust.

NaziconfiscatedValuablesBuchenwald1945

Part of the reason China hasn’t been caught is because people don’t pay much attention to begin with. Most things are lightly used- I’d imagine quite a lot of goods were just thrown away from confiscations- but then some have had cleaning done, been restrung with newer parts, or even been recoated in metal- often sterling silver to hide prior use. If you have a magnifying glass or even better, a hand lens prior use on jewelry items can be seen (if they haven’t been recoated). Beads and pendants are a great thing to buy to check for liars (and thieves) because their holes inevitably get chipped by being worn. The turquoise/howlite jewelry is difficult to clean, especially on the inner holes of beads the age and use can be seen- darker coloring usually- even after an industrial cleaning (or dishwasher).

But then there are a lot of things that have gotten no cleaning, and perhaps it because people are so unfamiliar and take things for granted, that they never question it. Here is an obvious example of used beads- if newly carved and/or newly dyed, they wouldn’t have a build up of dirt in the cracks and be worn through the details of the carving in spots.

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Tibetan turquoise turtle beads, being sold as brand new by the Chinese though encrusted with dirt and very worn

Though this light and bright blue stone so common in Tibet is often thought to be and sold as Himalayan turquoise or howlite that has been dyed, some of it is a synthetic stone made by melting pure rock and coloring it in the process.

The Hongshan Culture (4700 to 2900 BC) were among the first to pioneer these techniques of melting pure rock and produced it prolifically in a wide range of colors as seen in the examples above. Though this “turquoise” is a fairly soft stone and maybe was easier to melt and shape because of it, they also melted some of the hardest stone known to man- like quartz- this undoubtedly influenced and paved the way for metals to be extracted from rock, melted, molded and shaped too. You would need a tremendously hot fire to be able to melt rock, just as you would working with metal.

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Though it is tempting to say these turquoise Hongshan Culture artifacts are fakes- the amount of dirt on them tells quite a different story. Since so many of these artifacts were found with the Tibetan’s things being lied about and sold so cheaply, and they are quite fond of turquoise, one has to assume these are one and the same people and the Chinese have stolen not only what was in the houses and on their person, but their past contributions to Chinese civilization as well.

The four different forms of Tibetan “turquoise” are as follows:

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The woman above is a synthetic turquoise made from melting rock ores. There are at least several different formulas for creating this blue color- one of which turns turquoise only after exposure to sunlight.

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This synthetic turquoise made from melting rock ores was used prehistorically to make stand-alone sculptures like the woman above and the animals at the bottom of this webpage. As time went on turquoise was used as an embellishment on metal items and as inlay- and was sliced, then cut up into smaller pieces like on the teapot above. This synthetic Tibetan turquoise is most often seen in these colors- red, turquoise and a darker royal blue- which is often sold as lapis, turquoise and coral, but is in fact synthetic and may be the world’s oldest synthetic stone.

cuffia

There is real turquoise in the Himalayas, but it doesn’t occur in great quantities to begin with and is rarer than the synthetic types or dyed rock. This bracelet may be inlayed with pieces of real turquoise (a naturally occurring mineral) or it could be dyed rock, but the coral (orange color) is real so the turquoise may be too- albeit in small pieces. This is not to say that most jewelry of this type is real turquoise, only this example, as most are inlayed with pieces of synthetic smelted stone like the teapot above.

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This type is what sellers often refer as “stabilized turquoise”, however it may be this is only a dyed rock- maganese or howlite probably. However it could be yet another form of melted and dyed rock that is more porous than the first version above that the woman is made from.

Amazing how little information is out there on exactly what process and material is used, but how much of it is for sale on the internet. Unfortunately everyone is seemingly only concerned about making money and looking good, not finding out more about things. As women are devalued- so were the Tibetan’s things- in a superficial way that made what they were on the inside, what they had been through, seem insignificant and small.

This last form of Tibetan “turquoise” is not a turquoise at all, but just glass that has been painted to look like turquoise. See the bead holes where the paint has worn off below. Though obviously previously used with such wear through paint, these earrings are still being sold as brand new.

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There is even a lower grade of “Tibetan turquoise” that aren’t stone at all, but glass or pieces of molded plastic with paint used to imitate. The earrings above are an example of this, around the holes the paint has been worn through to the white glass bead beneath (but this still hasn’t stopped the seller from selling them as brand new).


 

“New with tags” a Chinese seller informed me of these used antique Tibetan “turquoise” earrings I bought off of Ebay recently. They’ve been repackaged to make them appear new, a purposeful attempt at deception and cover up.

There are many different tricks that the Chinese have came up with to sell used and often antique Tibetan jewelry as new including but not limited to cleaning and polishing, replating metal items, replacing stones- often selling the old ones loose (after cleaning maybe some fall out on their own) and replacing with cheaper acrylic stones. Putting pendants on new strings, giving charms earring hooks, and stringing bracelets surely is someones job too. But sometimes they just put it into bags and put a bar code onto it and sell it without doing anything- I’ve received items with dander and hair and grease (human) on the items too.

Most of the Tibetan used jewelry that China is selling is without labels or tags, just in little plastic bags, but the antique Tibetan earrings I bought from Ebay had been put on cardboard pieces that I’ve also received with completely different jewelry, that always say “Fashion Jewelry” – no other writing or logo/graphics smaller print.  The ad said “new with tags” like the other jewelry that they had, but they had clearly seen some use. In particular the butterfly earrings on the right didn’t even look like they had been cleaned at all, decades of use written in the dirt between the cracks of its wings.

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Search for “turquoise bear” on Ebay (includes some SW Indian silver jewelry), but the majority of them aren’t turquoise at all but a synthetic stone and/or dyed from Tibet)

  • 4,657 on 08/20/2015 including 294 auctioned in 10 days
  • 4,717 on 09/14/2016 including 341 auctioned in 10 days

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These poor bears deserve far more than stolen from some Tibetan political prisoner and sold for just cents. Chances are that some political or religious prisoner also cleaned and retagged much of their own jewelry to be sold online, how else are you going to keep the overhead so low?

If you can’t make item for that little & you can’t ship items for that little, then chances are that the item has not been produced and sold in an honest way.

The theft of Tibetan goods is not by any means limited to Ebay, and many people unwittingly have bought products then resold them or made something new out of them, then resold them. It isn’t a conscious effort to rob Tibetans of everything they had apparently by most, and I believe that if people woke up it would probably end and much of it could hopefully be placed in a holocaust museum or other fitting home.

Here are some earrings being sold by The Hunger Site Store. Their mission statement clearly states:

“Our goal is to exceed our customers’ expectations and treat both suppliers and customers with respect at all times.

CharityUSA prefers to sell products with meaning, products which help improve the world by their use or manufacture. We give preference to products made in a sustainable fashion and connected to the issues we work on, which include hunger and poverty relief, breast cancer prevention, child health, literacy, wilderness preservation, animal rescue, and peace. We believe that providing markets for fairly traded products made by marginalized people (especially rural women artisans) is the best way to reduce intergenerational poverty. We believe that wonderful products with meaning are found world-wide and want to sell items from every country and region in order to promote mutual respect and understanding between all people.

CharityUSA’s business principles prevent us from purchasing products made by child labor, or produced in unsafe or coercive work environments. We will not purchase products where the persons involved in the production were not paid a fair market wage. We will not buy products that harm people or animals in their use or manufacture. We will not buy products tested on animals, or sourced from wild or endangered animals, or where animals were treated inhumanely during manufacture. We will not purchase jewelry or other items with hazardous toxic material content, and will test all incoming orders for lead so we can completely comply with all regulations. We will not purchase imitations of copyrighted designs where the copyright holder has not been paid a royalty. We reserve the right to test for these standards, and if necessary, reject and return orders or items because a product doesn’t conform to our business principles.”

theHungerSiteStoreturquoiseearringsba

The advertisement  for these earrings which feature used Tibetan beads states:

“A wardrobe staple, these turquoise-colored beauties combine the simplicity of a stud earring with a bit of dangle — a bestseller!

Sasa Designs by the Deaf launched in Fall 2011 with the goal of providing employment and fair wages to deaf artisans in Kenya. With an estimated unemployment rate of 85% among the deaf in Kenya, few will have an opportunity to discover their potential, work in dignity, and earn a fair wage.

Sasa Designs gives deaf artisans the chance they’ve been waiting for, the chance to learn new skills, to discover what they are capable of, and to be productive. A subsidiary of DOOR International, Sasa Designs by the Deaf provides training and employment for deaf women who have faced a lifetime of discrimination. For the first time, they are recognized for their potential, and not for their inability to communicate with the world at large.

  • Howlite & brass
  • 1.75″ H x 0.38″ W (4.4 x 0.97 cm)
  • Handmade in & fairly traded from Kenya

Created to help women worldwide gain economic security for themselves and their families by earning fair wages for their handiwork, Global Girlfriend sources women-made, fair-trade imported, eco-friendly products. By supporting long-term partnerships with the artisans, it fosters equal employment opportunities, healthy and safe working conditions, technical assistance, and development strategies to help reduce poverty, one community at a time. Become a “Global Girlfriend” and help build a brighter future for girlfriends around the globe!”

Here are some other earrings utilizing Tibetan beads that appear to also be used being sold by the same website, but by a different individual seller:

theHungerSiteStoreturquoiseearringsaa

Note that the small silver findings on the ends of the “turquoise” bead also appear to be a typical Tibetan model sold en masse on Ebay through Chinese sellers, just like these exact same beads, but in the advertisement the sellers profile states:

“Artisan: Sierra Sonoma

In her studio set amidst the rolling hills and endless stretches of green vines in Sonoma Valley, long considered California’s premier wine country, artist Cheryl Sirkus creates the pieces for her Sierra Sonoma jewelry line. Her pieces shine like reflections of the inspiration she gathers from the natural, subtle beauty of the region.

‘This is truly an inspirational place to live and design,’ Cheryl says. Starting by sketching out ideas, she mindfully creates pieces to capture elegance and femininity in understated tones, selecting semi-precious stones and pearls to enhance the effect. ‘Simplicity and subtle designs are really my forte. I think the design and color should speak for itself.'”


Antique if not ancient turquoise bi being sold as
Antique if not ancient turquoise bi being sold as “new without tags” for about $1.22 (or less).

Things like this turquoise bi- you think, “OK its a big bead, so what?” But actually it is a Tibetan version of the jade bi– a thing that the Chinese themselves have overvalued for centuries and once may have served some practical purpose, which has been lost over the centuries. These are all being sold as brand new, though there is ample evidence just using the photographs the sellers have provided, this is not the case.

turquoisebida

When I worked in the desert I would see salt like this quite often accumulate in the soil profile at a depth at less than 20 to 40 inches below the surface called a calcitic horizon. It occurs in dry areas without much rainfall, like Tibet or the Gobi desert. Please check the other auctions above to see how much variation there is in what Chinese sellers like to sell as “new without tags”.

Beads:

Tibetan turquoise strand

Loose strands of “turquoise” along with tens and thousands and millions of other beads from Tibet and China were shipped to 4 different bead dealers in America instead of being sold directly out of China. They also carry bone pendants that are very questionable in origin, particularly next to this many beads that are all used and being lied about. Though in 2015 and early 2016 there were many of these very similar strands being sold of un-carved and polished stone- in mid 2016 they ceased to be sold, and all the sellers had were beads that were carved and polished- but still used and being sold as brand new. They may have run out of stock, but the fact that all four sellers above all ceased to sell this particular type of bead is further evidence they aren’t just being made today (otherwise there would be more), and that these sellers are all supplied by the same people, if not the same people themselves.

I’ve purchased from the above sellers before and all of their items are shipped from the exact same town in the US- Hellertown Pennsylvania, in the exact same type of envelopes and similar printed shipping labels. They also apparently don’t pay any US taxes since they aren’t registered as a business here, a fact I found out when trying to report them to the Better Business Bureau.

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I wanted to leave feedback through the Better Business Bureau because these 4 stores all sell the same items and all lie about the items- saying they are brand new when physical evidence indicates otherwise. But even though one is named “Bead of America” there is no registered business in America by the name. Which means they aren’t even paying taxes, at least not in America. Also 3 out of the 4 shops banned me from buying anything further from them after I left feedback saying they were selling used items, and after I wouldn’t take a refund for the items to change my feedback for them. The store below marvelous_beads98 has also banned me for saying their items were used and not taking a refund to remove my negative feedback warning other buyers.

There is a consistent and repetitive pattern of trying to cover up the fact they are lying, and will not stop cheating other customers if confronted, they only try to punish those who tell the truth. This type of criminal behavior not limited to just one seller, but almost every single Chinese seller that I’ve ever ran across. Its called a conspiracy, and to rob millions of everything they have.

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Tibetan Cylinder Turquoise strand

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  • Buy It Now page for 15.5″ strand ($2.67- 5 available, 5 sold; 5 available, 7 sold 6/2016; 9 available, 8 sold 01/2017) by m_leeye
  • Another Buy It Now page for 15.5″ strand, different photo, different seller ($2.98-$4.48, more than 10 available, 175 sold 08/2016; no longer listed by 01/2017, not relisted- may have sold out, but unclear of how many total were sold) by jennysun2010
  • Another Buy It Now page for 10 beads, different photo, different seller ($6.75- 18 available 01/2017) by  smartpartscraft

If these beads were recently carved (the seller is selling “new without tags”, they would not look like this. This appears to not only be very, very worn and dirty, but the whitish material is probably salts. These types of salts naturally occur in desert areas, and underneath the soil where water leaches minerals.

Rings:

omringsa

Many of the more instantly recognizable Tibetan jewelry- and quite used but sold as new- and may have been shipped to Ebay dealers on foreign shores to purposefully avoid suspicion. These used “Om” mantra rings are found in California sellers shops full of other used Tibetan items also being lied about and sold as brand new.

Search for “Tibetan turquoise ring” on Ebay

  • 3,431 on 08/21/2015 including 898 auctioned in 10 days
  • 3,793 on 09/02/2016 including 1,077 auctioned in 10 days
  • 4,001 on 09/14/2016 including 1,196 auctioned in 10 days
  • 4,834 on 01/29/2017 including 1,444 auctioned in 10 days

Tibetan Turquoise rings

  • Sold July 11, 2015 for $9.99

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turquoiseringya
The wear on this ring is obvious and clear in the seller’s picture, with deep staining from use on the inside of the ring in particular, however evidence never stopped them from trying to sell it “new without tags”

Tibet is a small portion of China as a whole and constitutes a very small population the size of France. When this many Tibetan items are for sale- this should immediately raise red flags since it is not a country known for manufacturing to begin with. China is. There is a difference that most people fail to get- these are NOT Chinese rings. They are Tibetan. Yet thousands and hundreds of thousands of them are all being sold by the Chinese- so many Tibetan items that many Chinese don’t sell anything but. That is a problem within itself. If say the situation was reversed and Tibetans were selling all Chinese items (because they are cheap and mass produced)- then it would make much more sense. Markets are all about supply and demand, and since the prices for these are extremely low and the volumes very high, there seems to be many more of these than there is demand for. Who would want a bunch of rings that aren’t silver at all, that are often cheaply made and with a flimsy adjustable band, that isn’t even made of real turquoise per se? So they sell them on Ebay at a starting bid of $0.01 just to get rid of them.

But that is one way to take the Tibetan out of Tibet- sell all their Tibetan things! And that is the supply, this is why there is little demand, yet Tibet still keeps churning out these rings left and right for far less than it costs to ship and no one ever thinks twice about it or questions where all this is coming from. They just see it as cheap Chinese good I guess. Sad seeing the Tibetans so completely robbed not only by greed, but that villain Ignorance too.

Tibetan Turquoise rings

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Scratches on the face of this stone can clearly be seen in the photo as well as old patina in lower areas, yet the seller continues to sell rings like this as “new without tags” and even sterling silver

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  • See this auction: sold 12/21/2015 for $8.24 by superiorjewels
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 12/29/2015 for $9.99 by superiorjewels
  • Another auction, different photo, same seller: sold 12/31/2015 for $11.54 by superiorjewels

ringna

amberringaa
Though sold as “new without tags” the center stone here made of soft amber is very scratched, and dark dirt and patina can be seen on the lower areas where it wasn’t polished.

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turquoiseringaa

Bracelets:

turquoisebracelettwoia

These types of cheap bracelets are all too common, all made of used and vintage Tibetan goods and being sold as “new without tags”. The fact that many sellers not only use the exact same photo, but series of photos in their advertisements indicates these are all shops ran by the exact same people usually using different aliases, or same group of people. Probably these old beads are being cleaned and restrung in the “backroom” of China by Laogai prisoners, but the beads are definitely used, and this is how they are sold so very cheaply. By using multiple aliases with the same photos it makes it appear like vintage and antique items are being mass produced today and are brand new, as well as effectively flooding the market so that others find it more difficult to compete. It also allows fewer people to sell more goods- which is great if you want a small percentage to get rich, but bad if you are supposedly redistributing resources from the wealthy few to the masses. Many, many poor people were apparently robbed to make very, very few Chinese wealthier than any Tibetan ever was.

Photos used to sell these supposedly brand new turquoise turtle beads. Unless they are repeats of themselves, the photos are all different and show different amounts of dirt and wear.

Though the beads above are being sold as “new” or “new without tags”, shown below are the exact same turtle beads in almost the same condition (except the design is less worn) being sold in a shop that carries only antiques. The close up photo is very revealing.

  • Buy It Now page ($3.99- more than 10 available, 1 sold) by mm888home

Another example of an obviously used turtle beads that probably came from someone’s grave that was restrung as a pendant and sold as brand new below. The phenomenal thing is that people keep buying it…

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Another popular type of “turquoise” bracelet below, mainly being sold by antique shops though the beads look no different- or perhaps better- than the ones they are selling as new.

Tibetan Turquoise bracelet

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Tibetan goods by the truckload are found in India, quite vintage and used, but they’ve often been restrung and polished, then sold as new and “Nepalese” as well as sterling silver, none of which is true.

cuffia

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Above is a newer, mass produced bracelet- which the Chinese may have helped to manufacture- while below is a typical traditionally hand made cuff.

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  • Buy It Now page ($11.98- 3 available, 4 sold 12/2015; 1 available, 6 sold 04/2016; sold out 05/02/2016) by haohu888

Earrings:

Another pair of USED Tibetan charms being sold as
Pair of USED Tibetan charms being sold as “new without tags” that have been put on new earring hooks.
One of the frequently reoccurring animals found in Tibetan art and jewelry is the owl, a women’s favorite.

Now it might be OK if there were only a few of these Tibetan items, or at least proportional to their population in China as a whole, but it seems this is ALL many dealers have- Tibetan stuff. And not only that, they LIE about it. All these are antiques at this point (probably from old confiscations) and certainly not new, though the Chinese just lie and lie and lie trying to make a buck. Click to see these for sale on Ebay.

Now it might be OK if there were only a few of these Tibetan items, or at least proportional to their population in China as a whole, but it seems this is ALL many dealers have- Tibetan stuff. Not only in China, but in Hongkong, as well as India. Not good if the only thing making it out of your country is your stuff.

turquoiseearringssa

Though once again these Tibetan “turquoise” earrings are being sold as brand new, you can see by the seller’s photo that the metal setting has been dented in as well as there is some discoloration of the stone and a blue mark on the right one.  There are also some which appear to have a whitish residue- which may be salt deposits from being buried in an arid environment for a while.

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Pendants:

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Two fish- one of the 8 auspicious Buddhist symbols

Instead of a turquoise stone this may be mila, a type of man-made amber above.

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Even when the stones are broken like this, old grime in cracks, they still insist it is brand new. This is the same seller that assured me that their items were made right there in India by poor people when I asked about the welfare of the Tibetan people and said I was concerned that he was selling their things and lying about them. But here he is  calling this piece “SPARKLING TIBETAN RED CORAL WITH TURQUOISE HANDMADE .925 SILVER PENDANT”

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pendantaa

Though newly polished, old grime and dirt as well as a fine polish from wear can be seen particularly on the coral pieces surrounding the amber on the hand’s palm above. Also amber which is softer than other materials like rock- seems to be so worn that is below the surface of the metal surrounding it.

Tibetan Turquoise Pendant

  • Buy It Now page (was $7.27- 8 available, 2 sold 12/2015; price raised to $12.99 using different photo- 6 available, 4 sold 09/2016; price raised to $13.99- 10 available, 4 sold 01/2017) by supertibet2008

Popular in Tibet since time immemorial and modeled after the classic animal tooth, these pendants being sold as new are undoutably used though they are being sold as new. They also look like they've been recently glued, cleaning them perhaps made them fall out of their settings.

Popular in Tibet since time immemorial and modeled after the classic animal tooth, these pendants being sold as “new without tags”, but once again are used. They also look like they’ve been recently glued, cleaning them perhaps made them fall out of their settings.

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Buy It Now page ($5.84- more than 10 available, 16 sold 12/2015) by loosebeads

Carvings typical of more modern day Tibet with some of their favorite art subjects. Skulls! Horses! They also love owls, turtles and butterflies (which could just be a misidentified silkworm moth), and 1/3 of the country is Buddhist, so things like endless knots and Buddha's face are still popular. These newer carvings aren't limited to turquoise, but are done in a multitude of different types of stones including ones they weren't able to get before like opal moonstone and mahogany obsidian- indicating these are more recent carvings. Unfortunately all these are USED carvings, not new, and the Chinese have been lying about them for years to unaware buyers.
Carvings typical of more modern day Tibet with some of their favorite art subjects. Skulls! Horses! They also love owls, turtles and butterflies (which could just be a misidentified silkworm moth), and 1/3 of the country is Buddhist, so things like endless knots and Buddha’s face are still popular. These newer carvings aren’t limited to turquoise, but are done in a multitude of different types of stones including ones they weren’t able to get before like opal moonstone and mahogany obsidian- indicating these are more recent carvings. Unfortunately all these are USED carvings, not new, and the Chinese have been lying about them for years to unaware buyers.

Tibetan Turquoise Elephantaa

The swastika on the elephant’s forehead is a very ancient Hindu and Buddhist symbol going back 12,000 years.

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Complete Necklaces:

Coral, turquoise and lapis
Coral, turquoise and lapis

necklacetwoba

necklacetwoca

necklacetwoda

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necklacetwoga

necklacetwoha

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necklacetwoka

necklacebigbeadsba

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Not only does  silverjewelrista (an Ebay seller in India) sell antique and used Tibetan jewelry as brand new, they also lie and say it is all sterling silver. Anyone can own a stamp that says “925” and stamp them with this to deceive customers into believing the silver is of higher quality than it really is, which is exactly what this seller has done to most of the Tibetan jewelry which is a copper alloy- not sterling silver at all. Though I tried to get my money back from this particular dealer, Ebay said I would have to ship the items back to India and that they would do nothing about them lying about the items being used, nor being not silver. Not a thing besides continuing to let them lie to customers.

This particular seller was also very adamant about getting the feedback removed from his profile saying his items were used- to the extent of emailing me over 10 times and calling my personal telephone number (which Ebay supplies to sellers apparently). It was pretty scary really, and very obvious he had absolutely no guilty conscience about selling Tibet’s jewelry through deceit.

925stamp

Also this same seller in India may have multiple shops that sell the same items, or there are multiple people in India who are supplied with the same used Tibetan stock. Because many of these necklaces are old and multiple strands, they may have shipped the whole lot to India to be restrung first before selling. You can see on many where beads don’t quite match indicating they were probably restrung, like in the example below .

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The necklaces below were being sold by a Chinese seller who usually sells Tibetan and Chinese antiques, which supports the theory that these are not only all Tibetan items, but that they are indeed all vintage or antique, used and definitely not sterling silver.

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turquoisenecklacera

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Turquoise with its bright hues is also often used to make mosaics on sacred objects like the swan above. Mosaics of turquoise began 1,000’s of years ago in Northern China- a place it is believed Tibetans originated from and is closely tied to Persia and the Silk Road.

Number of items a search of “turquoise” on Ebay found (mainly Tibetan, but including a good quantity of SW Indian turquoise from North America as well, sometimes these are difficult to tell apart and sometimes the sellers purposefully call it Indian when in fact it is Tibetan or Chinese):

  • 1,058,268 on 07/29/2015
  • 1,201,529 on 12/06/2015
  • 1,193,582 on 12/16/2015 including 74,770 items auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,168,817 on 12/28/2015 including 64,957 items auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,179,071 on 01/06/2016 including 70,558 items auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,238,121 on 04/08/2016 including 76,107 items auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,258,386 on 05/01/2016 including 79,994 items auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,234,434 on 06/21/2016 including 78,857 items auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,335,230 on 08/27/2016 including 85,196 items auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,357,354 on 09/14/2016 including 88,799 items auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,510,224 on 12/17/2016 including 88,199 items auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,444,679 on 01/29/2017 including 88,798 items auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,517,746 on 02/19/2017 including 92,606 items auctioned in 10 days

A very ancient set of turquoise (howlite?) dragon skeletons which may have been dug up in Tibet (see dirt attached), but also is very closely resembling the style of the Hongshan culture, and could be from lower elevation China 3,500 to 5,000 years ago.

Turquoise dinosaur skeleton II
Unfortunately we don’t know exactly where these were dug up (see dirt attached) but the style is very old, Hongshan days (3,500-6000 years ago) but in a characteristically Tibetan turquoise medium.

turquoiseanimalda

turquoiseanimalaa

Besides turquoise which is often blue dyed howlite or other synthetic rocks, the Tibetans are also very fond of lapis lazuli. Most of the major known deposits of this mineral are in Afghanistan, and its prevalence in China and Tibet indicate and long tradition of trade and contact between the two. In many ways Tibetans and other ethnic minorities of western China seem more closely related to people west of them- from Afghanistan or Turkmenistan- than to Chinese to their east. Though the Chinese would wish to maintain that they had invented most of what they call “Chinese culture”, most things may in fact be western things they learned, adopted, copied and modified, which is another reason they may want to get rid of so many artifacts without having scientists look at them first, and why they might not sell them for the highest price they possibly can. It is worth far more to maintain complete and total power, especially considering the value of goods traveling along the new Silk Road on rails.

Tibetan lapis ring

The style above is typical Tibetan silverwork for the vast majority of people in the 20th century. Nothing fancy really- only simple granules around the edge for embellishment- and they were produced en masse, though hand made.

Sold as “new without tags” and 925 (sterling) silver- but note the dirt caked on the ring, including the inside of the band; also most Tibetan jewelry is not sterling silver, but a mixture heavy in copper, or coated in silver over a copper base.

lapisringja

  • See this auction: sold 12/31/2016 for $1.58 by vega3570

Number of items a search of “lapis” on Ebay found:

  • 111,095 on 07/29/2015
  • 128,781 on 12/06/2015
  • 128,661 on 12/16/2015 including 18,049 auctioned in 10 days
  • 126,475 on 12/28/2015 including 17,517 auctioned in 10 days
  • 127,904 on 01/06/2016 including 18,507 auctioned in 10 days
  • 127,716 on 04/08/2016 including 19,253 auctioned in 10 days
  • 126,394 on 05/01/2016 including 18,003 auctioned in 10 days
  • 132,510 on 06/21/2016 including 20,992 auctioned in 10 days
  • 139,129 on 08/27/2016 including 22,372 auctioned in 10 days
  • 138,852 on 09/14/2016 including 21,710 auctioned in 10 days
  • 139,368 on 09/26/2016 including 21,643 auctioned in 10 days
  • 139,761 on 10/17/2016 including 19,994 auctioned in 10 days
  • 145,947 on 01/29/2017 including 21,438 auctioned in 10 days
  • 151,941 on 02/19/2017 including 22,851 auctioned in 10 days

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