Prayer Bead Wall of Shame

The sheer numbers of Buddhist sacred items being sold by the Chinese Communists on the internet indicate a long struggle that Buddhists obviously have not won. Why would someone sell their prayer beads? Is this really something that should be found in these kinds of numbers, particularly when they are all being sold by Chinese sellers when so many of them are Tibetan? Often antique beads are being sold as “new without tags” which also indicates a cover up of possible other wrongdoing besides just lying about the condition of items to get more money for them- since they could have gotten more money by telling the truth about their age and prior use.

Lhasa-Sera-Monastery
Monks at Sera Monastery, Lhasa Tibet debating with each other, prayer beads at hand, an their arms or waist, even when not being used to recite mantras

Number of items found in a search of “prayer beads” on Ebay (mainly of Buddhist malas):

  • 29,335 on 07/29/2015 (in religion and spirituality)
  • 29,557 on 08/09/2015 including 4,298 auctioned in 10 days (in religion and spirituality)
  • 36,815 on 11/23/2015 including 5,288 auctioned in 10 days
  • 38,018 on 12/9/2015 including 5,450 auctioned in 10 days
  • 38,065 on 12/19/2015 including 4,873 auctioned in 10 days
  • 37,935 on 01/5/2016 including 4,624 auctioned in 10 days
  • 36,859 on 01/29/2016 including 3,474 auctioned in 10 days
  • 39,367 on 03/15/2016 including 4,106 auctioned in 10 days
  • 38,972 on 03/25/2015 including 3,602 auctioned in 10 days
  • 41,525 on 04/24/2016 including 4,186 auctioned in 10 days
  • 42,433 on 05/06/2016 including 4,471 auctioned in 10 days
  • 44,752 on 05/27/2016 including 4,270 auctioned in 10 days
  • 42,895 on 06/19/2016 including 4,485 auctioned in 10 days
  • 43,594 on 07/03/2016 including 4,345 auctioned in 10 days
  • 43,996 on 07/18/2016 including 4,620 auctioned in 10 days
  • 45,988 on 08/03/2016 including 5,139 auctioned in 10 days
  • 46,045 on 08/13/2016 including 4,577 auctioned in 10 days
  • 44,935 on 08/26/2016 including 4,435 auctioned in 10 days
  • 45,224 on 09/10/2016 including 4,426 auctioned in 10 days
  • 46,188 on 09/27/2016 including 4,635 auctioned in 10 days
  • 46,597 on 10/11/2016 including 5,121 auctioned in 10 days
  • 46,740 on 10/25/2016 including 4,931 auctioned in 10 days
  • 51,556 on 12/04/2016 including 7,028 auctioned in 10 days
  • 50,210 on 02/13/2017 including 5,428 auctioned in 10 days
  • 49,726 on 03/10/2017 including 4,481 auctioned in 10 days
  • 50,189 on 04/06/2017 including 5,164 auctioned in 10 days
  • 50,187 on 05/02/2017 including 4,994 auctioned in 10 days
  • 49,921 on 06/20/2017 including 4,385 auctioned in 10 days

Number of items found in a search of “mala” on Ebay:

  • 20,012 on 07/29/2015
  • 20,046 on 08/09/2015 including 1,917 auctioned in 10 days
  • 23,132 on 11/23/2015 including 2,016 auctioned in 10 days
  • 23,944 on 12/09/2015 including 2,226 auctioned in 10 days
  • 23,939 on 12/19.2015 including 1,891 auctioned in 10 days
  • 23,484 on 01/5/2016 including 1,714 auctioned in 10 days
  • 23,398 on 01/29/2016 including 1,386 auctioned in 10 days
  • 25,259 on 03/15/2016 including 1,665 auctioned in 10 days
  • 25,113 on 03/25/2016 including 1,324 auctioned in 10 days
  • 26,135 on 04/24/2016 including 1,686 auctioned in 10 days
  • 26,689 on 05/06/2016 including 1,819 auctioned in 10 days
  • 27,955 on 05/27/2016 including 2,085 auctioned in 10 days
  • 28,371 on 06/19.2016 including 2,032 auctioned in 10 days
  • 28,053 on 07/03/2016 including 1,884 auctioned in 10 days
  • 28,515 on 07/18/2016 including 2,102 auctioned in 10 days
  • 29,842 on 08/03/2016 including 2,516 auctioned in 10 days
  • 29,142 on 08/13/2016 including 2,174 auctioned in 10 days
  • 28,450 on 08/26/2016 including 2,055 auctioned in 10 days
  • 28,631 on 09/10/2016 including 2,052 auctioned in 10 days
  • 30,179 on 09/27/2016 including 2,231 auctioned in 10 days
  • 29,577 on 10/11/2016 including 2,388 auctioned in 10 days
  • 30,096 on 10/25/2016 including 2,352 auctioned in 10 days
  • 33,681 on 12/04/2016 including 4,066 auctioned in 10 days
  • 35,600 on 02/13/2017 including 3,683 auctioned in 10 days
  • 33,833 on 03/10/2017 including 2,217 auctioned in 10 days
  • 33,577 on 04/06/2017 including 2,608 auctioned in 10 days
  • 34,044 on 05/02/2017 including 2,716 auctioned in 10 days
  • 35,291 on 06/20/2017 including 2,040 auctioned in 10 days

Number of items found in a search of “dzi” on Ebay:

  • 7,150 on 07/29/2015
  • 7,367 on 08/09/2015 including 1,566 auctioned in 10 days
  • 8,347 on 11/23/2015 including 2,579 auctioned in 10 days
  • 8,467 on 12/08/2015 including 2,547 auctioned in 10 days
  • 8,560 on 12/19/2015 including 2,543 auctioned in 10 days
  • 8,332 on 1/5/2016 including 2,296 auctioned in 10 days
  • 7,757 on 1/29/2016 including 1,831 auctioned in 10 days
  • 8,620 on 3/15/2016 including 2,317 auctioned in 10 days
  • 8,658 on 03/25/2016 including 2,322 auctioned in 10 days
  • 9,251 on 04/24/2016 including 2,167 auctioned in 10 days
  • 9,332 on 05/03/2016 including 2,221 auctioned in 10 days
  • 9,467 on 05/06/2016 including 2,320 auctioned in 10 days
  • 10,241 on 05/26/2016 including 2,414 auctioned in 10 days
  • 11,136 on 06/19/2016 including 2,393 auctioned in 10 days
  • 11,601 on 07/03/2016 including 2,363 auctioned in 10 days
  • 12,080 on 07/18/2016 including 2,386 auctioned in 10 days
  • 11,972 on 08/03/2016 including 2,349 auctioned in 10 days
  • 12,106 on 08/13/2016 including 1,994 auctioned in 10 days
  • 12,239 on 08/26/2016 including 2,145 auctioned in 10 days
  • 12,245 on 09/10/2016 including 1,915 auctioned in 10 days
  • 12,208 on 10/11/2016 including 2,022 auctioned in 10 days
  • 12,416 on 10/25/2016 including 2,056 auctioned in 10 days
  • 11,817 on 12/04/2016 including 2,020 auctioned in 10 days
  • 11,117 on 02/13/2017 including 1,600 auctioned in 10 days
  • 12,162 on 03/10/2017 including 2,067 auctioned in 10 days
  • 12,838 on 04/06/2017 including 2,203 auctioned in 10 days
  • 11,792 on 05/02/2017 including 1,951 auctioned in 10 days
  • 11,188 on 06/20/2017 including 1,838 auctioned in 10 days

Though I’ve tried to purchase a mala that is NEW from Ebay- Buddhist prayer beads that help the user to count how many times a prayer is repeated- not one that I’ve purchased has been. With beads it is fairly clear when they’ve been used, particularly for prayers because the beads rub together. This wear can often be seen with the naked eye, but a 10x hand lens also helps to identify prior use. Most people I would suppose don’t pay any attention, or are just happy to get whatever it is for as cheap a price as they do, but then, I wouldn’t want to argue with a group of people that have killed thousands if not millions of innocent Buddhist monks either.

Since I’ve been tracking how much is being sold on Ebay as well as questioning specific sellers as well as getting banned for saying items are used, the numbers for sale have only increased. I believe this is part of the tactic for selling these used items- to flood the market with so many sellers that it is impossible to keep track of them all- let alone hold them personally accountable. If you only have one thief to catch, it is much easier than catching 1,000. Often Chinese sellers use multiple aliases, so though the numbers of items for sale have increased, and perhaps the total number of sellers on Ebay, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the goods are being dispersed to more sellers in any sort of equitable way. But the increased numbers of Tibetan and other minorities personal items for sale may indicate increased theft of their personal property, either through forcible evictions from traditional settlements in which their houses are typically bulldozed to make way for new construction, and/or because the items were confiscated from individuals that were arrested in increasing numbers as of late.

malaaa

So there is only silence as the money changes hands and no one is the wiser as to what goes on in the backroom. It really violates the very principle of these beads to begin with to have them be obtained in such nefarious ways then the proceeds used to incarcerate or murder others or benefit posh party members’ international penthouses for all we know. It is only through the complete and total lack of compassion have so many of these beads ended up being sold in the marketplace as such.

Organic Materials:

Beads made of Wood:

sandalwoodda

Sandalwood is some of the cheapest for poor monks and ordinary Tibetans & Chinese to purchase when they were new, therefore occur in the greatest numbers. Because the supply is very high and the demand for these types of beads- very plain and unadorned compared to lapis or turquoise or amber- is very low, they are typically sold for less than what it would cost to ship the item ordinarily.

You know that the Chinese government wants to get rid of it if it sells it to you for a quarter, then ships it for free. There isn’t anyone making any money there, and if anything the Chinese communists are loosing money by being such misers and wanting to keep and sell anything of any value.

malaba

Every one of the sellers above are using the exact same photograph though they supposedly are completely different sellers, highly suspicious since the prayer beads seem to all be used instead of new from a factory.

The metal charm (a dorje) on the prayer beads above arrived completely oxidized with a whitish salt, while others in the same package had none- so it couldn’t have tarnished to that degree because of where they were being stored. The beads also showed many others signs of previous wear, just like all the malas for sale by the Chinese on Ebay that I’ve personally inspected (over 20 now from different sellers).  I’ve also tried paying more for the same mala just to see if it was just some used ones that were being discounted, but they were equally as used. Often the beads have been restrung, but the holes on the beads themselves still tell where they’ve been and that they are not new.

The enormous volume being sold, the number of lies and cover ups really only indicates one thing. Its really a pretty evil thing to take someone’s prayer beads, lie about them and sell them, and I’m sure we aren’t getting the full story of what is really going on in China and Tibet without actually looking at the physical evidence.

woodenbraceletaa

This sandalwood bracelet was sold to me as “new with tags” along with 2 others, but as you can see, they’ve been well used before. Below is the seller’s photo of the item which looks very new indeed. I left this seller feedback saying the item was used, and they’ve harrassed me for a month to recend my feedback. I can’t even report their harassment to Ebay because as far as I know, as long as they keep lying with a smile on their face, they aren’t breaking any rules. The moment they say a swear word, or threaten me, I could report them as harassment though. But just emailing a person day after day, week after week asking them to lie for you isn’t illegal at all apparently and A-OK with Ebay.

sandalwoodbraceletaa

kwanyinwoodbraceletca

These beads also show clear wear in the photographs- there are scuffs and scratches, part of the lacquer (or varnish) on the outside is completely worn through in spots and you can see even dirt in the closeup photo below attached to Kwanyin’s head. kwanyinwoodbraceletcb

Wengewood:
Tibetan Wenge Mala
Wenge wood mala
  • Buy It Now page ($7.99- 6 available, 44 sold 12/2015: no longer a registered user 5/2016) by hgh228
  • Another Buy It Now page, different photo, different seller ($1.95- 10 available, 12 sold 12/2015; more than 10 available, 49 sold 5/2016; 10 available, 63 sold 02/2017; 10 available, 71 sold 05/2017) by firstbuy_store
  • Another Buy It Now page, different photo, different seller ($1.95- 10 available, 2 sold; 7 available, 52 sold 5/2016): listing ended 07/25/2016 with 53 total sold by monkeyking2015
  • See this auction, different photo, different seller: sold 05/09/2016 for $2.50 by fullness99
  • Another auction, different photo, same seller as previous: sold 06/23/2016 for $0.70 by fullness99
  • Another auction, different photo, same seller as previous: sold 07/03/2016 for $1.55 by fullness99
  • Another auction, different photo, same seller as previous: sold 07/18/2016 for $1.72 by fullness99
  • Another auction, different photo, same seller as previous: sold 08/04/2016 for $0.77 by fullness99
  • Another auction, different photo, same seller as previous: sold 08/24/2016 for $1.21 by fullness99
  • Buy It Now page, different photo, same seller as previous ($1.46- more than 10 available, 492 sold 07/2016; more than 10 available 564 sold 08/2016; more than 10 available, 909 sold 02/2017) by fullness99
  • Another auction, different photo, different seller: sold 07/21/2016 for $2.35 by moj-81
  • Another auction, different photo, different seller by haod898
  • Another Buy It Now page, different photo, different seller ($0.99- more than 10 available, 11 sold 5/2016; price raised to $1.39- more than 10 available, 41 sold 07/2016): listing ended 12/01/2016 with 52 total sold by fashion518
  • Another Buy It Now page, different photo, different seller ($1.89- 5 available, 10 sold 5/2016; 6 available, 23 sold 09/2016): listing ended before 02/2017, unclear of how many total were sold by shoes17888
  • Another Buy It Now page, different photo, same seller as previous seller ($2.37- more than 10 available, 642 sold 06/2016): listing ended 09/13/2016 with 909 total sold by shoes17888
  • Another Buy It Now page, different photo, same seller as previous ($2.24- 3 available, 3 sold 02/2017) by shoes17888
  • Another Buy It Now page, different photo, different seller ($1.49- more than 10 available, 60 sold 09/2016; more than 10 available, 107 sold 05/2017) by jewelryfindingshop
  • Another Buy It Now page, different photo, same seller as previous ($1.38- more than 10 available, 77 sold 09/2016; more than 10 available, 121 sold 05/2017) by  jewelryfindingshop
  • Another Buy It Now page, different photo, different seller ($1.99- 1 available, 8 sold 02/2017; 2 available, 11 sold 05/2017) by 0457163– changed name to lucky*stone by 05/2017
  • Another Buy It Now page, different photo, different seller ($2.04- 10 available 02/2017; 8 available, 2 sold 05/2016) by kmy16888
  • Another Buy It Now page, different photo, different seller ($2.01- 3 available, 1 sold 02/2017; 3 available, 2 sold 05/2017) by pandapink2016
  • Another Buy It Now page, different photo, different seller ($2.14- 3 available 05/2017) by citynew2016
  • Another Buy It Now page, different photo, different seller ($2.29- 3 available 05/2017) by tfdmall
  • Another Buy It Now page, different photo, different seller ($2.49- 10 available, 8 sold 05/2017) by china*store

wengewoodmalaaa

One of the wengewood malas I bought above, used, like all the rest the Chinese are selling. Very, very used, but still sold as brand new. Where is its rightful owner now? Dead? Imprisoned?

Jujube Wood:

 

jujubewoodaa
Skull mala carved from Jujube wood

Seeds:

moonandstarbodhiaa

lotusseedbraceletaa
Moon and Star bodhi bead bracelet
  • Buy It Now page ($3.99- more than 10 available, 25 sold 09/206): listing ended prior to 05/2017, unclear of how many total were sold by attjade
  • Another Buy It Now page, different photos, different seller ($3.99- more than 10 available, 6 sold 09/2016): listing ended prior to 05/2017, unclear of how many total were sold by thegiftpro

Siddhartha is said to have gained enlightenment underneath a Bodhi tree- a type of fig in India- thus all Bodhi trees and their seeds are considered sacred.

But it is tough to figure out from Ebay sellers and the internet exactly which seeds are real Bodhi tree seeds, different sizes, shapes and colors are all being called “bodhi” from the whitest of whites to the ancient grey and cracked. In a recent scientific study on Bodhi beads in China they identified 47 different species of plants that were used to make the beads, many unrelated species.

The beads above are called “moon and star” bodhi beads and are made from a plant called Daemonorops jenkinsiana.  This plant grows in Southern China, India, Nepa, Bhutan and Bangladesh, but not Tibet, however a research study found many of these beads- very old- in Tibet. Part of the reason seeds of plants were used for prayer beads and considered to be so sacred in Tibet is the high altitude and the fact many of them don’t grow there and had to be imported, making them even more valuable and rare.

There are also a number of fake “moon and star” Bodhi beads on Ebay- the mala above may be an example of this- which are made from plastic, but are still previously used and no less sacred if they came from someone whose things were stolen, and possibly their life taken too.

bodhirootmalaaa
Bodhi root mala made from the seeds of Corypha umbraculifera
  • 6mm Buy It Now page (was $25.95- price reduced to $20.76 by 05/2017) by ly780202
  • 6mm Buy It Now page, same photo, different seller ($23.27- 3 available 09/2016; price reduced to $20.68- 3 available 05/2017)  by sky_chi
  • 9mm Buy It Now page, different photo, same seller ($25.97- 5 available 09/2016; price reduced to $23.08- 3 available, 2 sold 05/2017) by sky_chi
  • 13mm Buy It Now page, different photo, same seller ($34.97- 5 available 09/2016; price reduced to $31.08- 4 available, 1 sold 05/2017) by sky_chi
  • 5mm Buy It Now page, different photo, different seller ($37.00- 2 available 09/2016) by thaicadetshop
  • 8mm Buy It Now page, different photo, same seller as previous ($57.50- 2 available 09/2016) by thaicadetshop
  • 8mm Buy It Now page, different photo, different seller ($62.50) by sakp2014

Bodhi root beads are made not from roots, but from the seed of Corypha umbraculifera, a species native to India and Sri Lanka that was widely planted in temple gardens in China because its leaves- soft and flexible when dry- that were used to record sutras, and other writings.

Another type of seed widely used for Bodhi beads in China and Tibet are called “Phoenix eye” bodhi beads and “small Phoenix eye” are the species Ziziphus abyssinica and Ziziphus jujubavar. spinosa.  The “eye” is formed at the end of the seed like what is seen below.

phoenixeyeda
Phoenix eye bodhi beads

And yet one more type of seed commonly used for sacred prayer beads are peach pits. Widely beloved for their sweet flesh and fuzzy skin, they are also symbolic of longevity in China. These prayer beads made from pits are quite well worn, but still being sold as brand new more often than not.

phoenixeyeca
Peach pit bodhi beads

bodhiseedbraceletaa

Rudraksha seeds, also called “King Kong” is the most common type of Bodhi bead in China. Made from the seeds of an Elaeocarpus species- most commonly Elaeocarpus angustifolius. A ‘Two-furrowed King Kong’ is made from the fruit of Elaeocarpus hainanensis.

Flickr Nick Woodford
Hindus in India wearing Rudraksha seed necklaces

Rudraksha beads have been used by Hindus as rosaries from at least the 10th century and may be the earliest form of prayer beads in India. One Hindu legend says that once Lord Shiva opened his eyes after a long period yogic meditation, and because of extreme fulfillment he shed a tear. This single tear from Shiva’s eye grew into the rudraksha tree. It is believed that by wearing the rudraksha bead one will have the protection of Lord Shiva wipe away our own tears. The rough surface symbolizes the austere life expected of worshipers.

Bodhi seed bracelet
Rudraksha seed bracelet which are also often mistaken for Bodhi seeds by Chinese sellers

Hsuan Hua, a Chinese monk who brought Chinese Buddhist to the west in 1953 (age 35) wearing a rudraksha seed mala. Hsuan Hua later in life, still wearing the same seeds.

rudrakshaseedmalafa

  • See this auction: sold 07/20/2016 for $1.99 by  carol_yeah
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 08/07/2016 for $3.05 by carol_yeah
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 08/14/2016 for $2.80 by carol_yeah
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 08/17/2016 for $3.25 by carol_yeah
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 09/10/2016 for $2.24 by carol_yeah
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 09/14/2016 for $3.55 by carol_yeah
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 09/19/2016 for $2.50 by carol_yeah
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 09/20/2016 for $3.10 by carol_yeah
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 09/29/2016 for $2.75 by carol_yeah
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 09/30/2016 for $3.05 by carol_yeah
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 10/14/2016 for $1.99 by carol_yeah
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: no sale 10/15/2016 at $1.99 minimum by carol_yeah
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 10/25/2016 for $1.99 by carol_yeah
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 12/07/2016 for $1.99 by carol_yeah
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 03/14/2017 for $3.87 by carol_yeah
  • Buy It Now page, same photo, same seller ($2.99- 9 available, 23 sold 07/2016; more than 10 available, 85 sold 08/2016; more than 10 available, 191 sold 12/2016; more than 10 available, 316 sold 02/2017; more than 10 available, 385 sold 04/2016) by carol_yeah
  • Another Buy It Now page, same photo, same seller but increased price ($3.99- more than 10 available, 6 sold 8/2016; more than 10 available, 70 sold 12/2016; ” 02/2017) by carol_yeah
  • Another Buy It Now page, different photo, different seller ($3.75- more than 10 available, 50 sold 09/2016): ended 10/31/2016 with 51 total sold by cskwin2015
  • 9mm Another Buy It Now page, different photo, different seller ($12.94- 6 available, 13 sold 09/2016; 4 available, 15 sold 12/2016): ended 01/23/2017 with 15 total sold by jewelry_mart88
  • 9mm Another Buy It Now page, different photo, different seller ($10.74- more than 10 available, 159 sold 09/2016; 7 available, 180 sold 02/2017) by jewelry_mall88
  • 8mm Another Buy It Now page, different photo, same seller as previous ($10.75- more than 10 available, 7 sold 02/2017) by jewelry_mall88
  • 8mm Another Buy It Now page, different photo, same seller as previous ($13.80- 7 available, 13 sold 02/2017) by jewelry_mall88
  • Another Buy It Now page, same photo, different seller ($2.99- 3 available, 41 sold 02/2017; 2 available, 50 sold 04/2017) by mucd3288

There are still at least 42 more species of Bodhi seed beads that were not covered here, but this is another popular type of bracelet being sold which includes 18 different seeds:

18seedbraceletsaa

Part of the reason there are so many bracelets for sale is because they are easy to restring and sell, and because beads from Buddhist malas may have been too damaged to be reused, so they were restrung into bracelets which might also be more wearable to most consumers.

-Reference: Seeds used for Bodhi beads in China , Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine.

Horn:

 

Yak horn bracelet
Peaches which symbolize the wish for long life, made from yak or ox horn

Horn from bovine- yak, oxen and cattle, come in a variety of colors. Above is the most common- a deep reddish brown, while below are examples of lighter colors that might have been more expensive to begin with.

oxhornbraceletaa

  • Buy It Now page ($32.40): no longer listed by 02/2017, unclear if sold or? by honestbusines

oxhornbraceletba

If you notice on Buddha’s faces above he has some yellow-whitish residue around his nose and eyes- this maybe skin or body fat that wasn’t fully cleaned off when these beads were recently restrung since it is that color and many items are suspected to have been robbed from graves, not sold by the living voluntarily.

18arhataa

18 Arhats carved from ox or yak horn. They are the original followers of Buddha who also attained enlightenment, and popular throughout the ages in both China and Tibet.

Amber:

Amber and a synthetic amber called mila is also highly prized for beads in Tibet, prayer beads being no exception. Not only is it very light, but has lustrous qualities unlike any other material and is heat resistant.

Tibetan Buddhist Mila Mala
Maybe real amber? Hard to tell…

monkswithbeadsba

 

ambermalada
Probably fake amber and/ or newer that is imported from Baltic
amberredmalaaa
Another type of amber, red in color and possibly real

ambermalaaa

Amber is fossilized tree sap, and within Tibet and China there was a motherload apparently. Often sellers of Tibetan goods lie and say that the very real amber is “Baltic” but in all likelihood much of it is indigenous to Tibet and China, like the example above.

Coral:

Red coral is another durable material, often used in jewelry. Today it is very expensive because it comes from coral reefs- the real red coral is imported from Italy, Taiwan and Japan- but some of the Tibetan coral may be a fossil coral that they’ve mined and dyed red for centuries.

Tibetan Coral Buddhist Mala
Tibetan Coral Buddhist Mala

Sold 7/30/2015 (auction) for $7.50

A brief history of Coral
Richard Taylor, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Dynamics of Indo-Tibetan Trade through Uttarakha Joshi et al 1987:

“Pearls, coral and glass beads have been known to be an important part of the exports from India to Tibet for a long time. Coral is considered auspicious and is worn in the necklace by almost all the women of Kumaon and among the Tibetans as well. It is believed to be advantageous to one’s health and protects from the danger of widowhood. In 1818, Moorcroft noted that at an earlier date “beads of red coral were exported from Hindostan into Chinese Tartary at an immense profit”‘4). Later, Atkinson
noted a brisk trade in pearls and coral bands, and in 1897 at least it was noted that this coral had come from so far away as Italy. Traill also mentioned this “Meditarranean source” of coral which was exported into Tibet as large scarlet beads. A ready market in pearls was also noted.

The history of precious coral exploitation began in the Mediterranean with the red coral Corallium rubrum, which has been found with 25 000 yr old Paleolithic human remains (Tescione 1965). During ancient times, most red coral was collected after heavy storms broke off branches and washed them up on shore. Harvest of living colonies of Corallium started about 5000 yr ago with Greek fishermen using kouralio or iron hooks to dislodge colonies from deeper water, and by Greek sponge divers capable of free diving to over 80 m depth (Mayol 2000). Precious coral fisheries expanded around 1000 AD with the development of the ingegno or St. Andrews Cross, a wooden cross with attached nets that was dragged across the bottom to entangle coral (Tescione 1973). The modified ‘barra italiana,’ a coral dredge consisting of an iron bar (>1 t) with chains and nets attached along its length, has been widely used since the 1830s off Italy (Grigg 1984). Using the new dredge, the fishery increased from 347 boats in 1862 to 1200 vessels and 24 Italian factories processing coral, employing about 17 000 fishermen and jewelers by 1865 (Tescione 1965, 1973). Further growth of the fishery (>2000 boats) followed the discovery of large coral beds between Sicily (Italy) and Tunis (Tunisia) in the 1880s, with continued expansion to other Mediterranean countries during the 1900s (Tescione 1965). The selective removal of C. rubrum using SCUBA diving emerged as a viable alternative in the 1950s, and by the mid-1980s most red coral was harvested using SCUBA. This change was largely due to a ban on the use of coral dredges, but divers also demonstrated the ability to obtain yields that were comparable to dredge fisheries through harvest from crevices, overhangs and other locations that were previously inaccessible to dredges (Tsounis 2005).”

Tibetan Coral mala

  • Sold 8/5/2015 for $3.25
  • Another auction, same photos: sold 12/14/2015 for $7.50 by chhies
  • Another auction, different photos, different seller: sold 12/13/2015 for $6.50 by good_deal2258
  • Another auction, different photos, same seller as previous: sold 12/21/2015 for $17.00 by good_deal2258

Bone:

bonemalaka

  • Buy It Now page (was $14.85, price increased to $15.85 by 09/2016): listing ended 10/05/2016, unclear if sold or? not relisted by attjade
  • Another Buy It Now page for a similar item, different photo, different seller (was $15.99- price reduced to $12.99 by 02/2017) by thegiftpro

tibetanwomanandbeadsaa

boneeyemalaaa
Bone inlay mala
boneeyemalaba
A slightly more complex mala than the previous example with counters on the sides.
  • Buy It Now page ($14.99- 2 available 1/2016): sold out 02/05/2016 by everydaybags
boneinlaymalaaa
Red-brown sandalwood mala
  • Buy It Now page ($8.00- 8 available, 2 sold 1/2016; 7 available, 3 sold 08/2016; 3 available, 7 sold 02/2017) by mygann
inlaybonemalada
Another form of inlay using turquoise and coral chips in bone. This is a very traditional design and also seen in Nepal, and can be still bought brand new from there. This however, is not new, thought being sold as such.
  • Buy It Now page ($23.70- 7 available, 38 sold 12/2015; 8 available, 42 sold 3/2016; 6 available, 46 sold 08/2016): listing ended 09/23/2016 with 52 total sold by jewelry_mall88

carvedbonemalaaa

skullmalada

skullmalaea

skullbeadsda
This apparently is what passes as “new” these days

kapalamalaaa

Mala that is quite possibly made from a human skull above, also being sold on Ebay, many times as just “bone” without saying it is HUMAN.

Inorganic Materials:

Crystal has long been venerated by these people who love to carve rock for obvious reasons. See through like water but harder than most rocks out there, quartz stands the test of time and is seeming magical with its translucent qualities.

Citrine is extremely popular with monks, it is a form of colored quartz. Amethyst is also a form of colored quartz often used in prayer beads.

Crystal mala

  • Buy It Now page ($2.13): sold out 09/2015, 4 sold by bestonlinesale
  • See this auction, different photo, different seller: sold 12/10/2015 for $3.21 by cute-owl
  • Buy It Now page, different photo, same seller as previous (was $4.69- more than 10 available, 10 sold 12/2015; price raised to $6.10 5 available, 11 sold 08/2016) by cute-owl
  • Another auction, different photo, different seller: no sale 08/16/2016 at $1.98 minimum by sky_chi
  • Another auction, different photo, same seller as previous: no sale 12/10/2016 at $1.98 minimum by sky_chi
  • Another auction, different photo, same seller as previous by sky_chi
  • Buy It Now page (was $4.04- 2 available, 15 sold 12/2015; price reduced to $3.37- 1 available, 16 sold 08/2016; price reduced to $3.00- 1 available, 17 sold 12/2016) by ly780202
  • Buy It Now page , different photo, same seller  as previous (was $4.49- 10 available 12/2015; price reduced to $3.96 9 available, 1 sold 08/2016; price raised to $4.05- ” 12/2016) by wow-really

usedbeadsab

Many of the used beads being sold as brand new at rock bottom prices were once Buddhist prayer beads I suspect. These used hand-carved citrine beads are found in great numbers and most often found in an 6 or 8mm size, perfect for a reasonable size mala (as sizes of beads go up, the size of the mala itself increases since there are still 108 beads to count on each) that would be affordable to most monks.

citrinebeadsaa

Loose beads by topgembead

In addition to many other types of stone, crystal bracelets of all kinds are revered- clear, colored, rutilated quartz are all carved and worn.

Buddhist Crystal bracelet

  • Buy It Now page ($4.99) by attjade
  • Another Buy It Now page, different photo, different seller ($4.99) by thegiftpro

This bracelet seems to have not been cleaned at all as you can see in the photos, but are still being sold as brand new.

 

Buddhist Amethyst Mala
Amethyst Mala- this is how it is possible to sell handmade beads made from pure quartz that cheap- just steal from monks!

The antique prayer beads bring a pretty penny to the communists who have long oppressed these peaceful people, and the older beads (often covered in dirt still) are even more highly suspicious- if this could be possible- since their origin seems to be from dead monk’s graves/stupas.

Ancient Crystal bracelet

Tibetan Buddhist Crystal Mala

Other very hard stones typically used by Buddhists whose age can be deceiving include agate (carnelian) and obsidian (onyx). These beads in the shape of a squash or pumpkin are hundreds of years old, or even older. Squash and melons are a staple part of Chinese diet, the melons store well on their own, and are also often pickled to add flavor and preserve them for even longer periods of time, and are grown in lower elevation areas of Tibet too.

Here is an even older set of carnelian squash beads that could predate Jesus Christ and Buddhism itself. Typically Buddhist prayer beads are 108 beads like the strands being sold above.

agatesquashaa

Buddhist Agate BraceletSold July 29, 2015 for $2.75

Agate Stripe bracelet
Stripe beads such as this were made apparently by cleaving the rock in 1/2, gluing back together using the same kind of ancient techniques found in the inlay of dzi beads. The amazing part about all of it, the inlay is just as hard as the parent stone.

Dzi beads are a special bead that is believed to provide positive spiritual benefit. The most common design is an eye- a simple dot with a circle, but there are many designs ranging from simple to quite ornate.

Before the Chinese started to roll out the Tibetan’s backlog of confiscated things, dzi beads were so rare that the Buddhists in China were buying fake ones from Koreans. They are made from carved agate that has been inlayed with designs, a very difficult and time consuming task that very few have any knowledge of today.

I asked my dad who has always been a rock hound and even has a degree in mining engineering and a rock saw how these might have been inlayed, and he had no idea since they were agate. Never saw anything like it. The darker color tends to be the color of the natural stone, while white is inlayed into grooves that are carved. But what is the white material? To answer that may be to answer the origin of the dzi bead itself, and if it is porcelain in the majority of cases, then dzi beads probably have a Chinese, not Indian origin as some believe and as stated on Wikipedia currently. Also the fact there are oracle bone scripts- the oldest form of writing known in China- that are used on dzi beads indicate their origins are Chinese and even older than thought.

In 2010 Karma Samdup– a local Tibetan business man and environmentalist- was sentenced to 15 years prison for supposedly grave robbing, who had became wealthy by trading in these ancient agate dzi beads. His nickname was “The King of Dzi”- and it is possible that many of these beads may have been confiscated from his collection or similar people. Though it is OK to stop grave robbers, to sell the looted goods afterward on an open market for a fraction of their value still isn’t. It is a desecration still of people and their things, and far better that they should be put into a museum than continued to be looted from the country and the dead.

Swastika dzi bead

For this particular dealer alone mm888home there were 497 items in his Ebay inventory when searched for “dzi” on July 29th, 2015. This number has increased to 789 on December 9, 2015, 785 dzi bead items on 4/29/2016, and 868 on 05/27/2016. Not good when he also banned me from bidding after I tried to find out where his things came from. He also has any number of prehistoric artifacts from the stone ages as well as priceless pieces of pottery and other antiques that are inappropriately priced for the valuable and rare items that they really are.

Also Ebay has misleading and downright erroneous information which also allows Chinese sellers to rob Tibetan monks- many of these are very, very ancient beads and often from graves or stupas. This is what a guide on Ebay says about dzi beads (published in 2006 and still the only post on the subject 08/2016),

“When we first started on eBay in 2003, there were usually 200 to 300 listed Dzi Beads, of which 95% were all machine mass manufactured copies or imitations. Today, a simple search on Dzi Beads will bring up more than a 1,000 of such items, of which 99% are not authentic.”

This is just not true. Though there may have been very few dzi beads before Ebay opened up to Chinese sellers, currently there is not one single dzi bead which I would deem as not being real- all real as far as I can see on my searches. Also many from graves that are hundreds if not thousands of years old (see oracle script written in one below possibly dating from Shang Dynasty some 3,000+ years ago).

swastikabeadsda

Agate Swastika beads

Once these were all attached to prayer beads or in bracelets, but the Chinese communists will often make more money if they split them apart and sell them single- strings are also the first things to rot away from time itself, especially in graves.

  • Tibetan Dzi bead lotSold August 2, 2015 for $5.50

batdziba

yinyangdziaa

The dzi beads above have the shou symbol- symbol of long life, which also looks a great deal like a hieroglyph of “man” in the lower one. Hard to say if these predate writing or not, or perhaps even the first written words were formed here in this art form 1,000’s of years ago.

Something like the dragon dzi bead below would have been made relatively recently, while older beads have much more simple designs where the edges are not nearly as crisp.

  • Buy It Now page ($18.99): no longer a registered user 08/2016 by yitaojn

dragondziea

Another form of a dragon dzi bead, much older, with a raised design above, and an even older one below. Though the bead below is sold as “dragon eyed”- it is actually a tiger- and written in one of the oldest scripts in the world. It is the earliest known in China called oracle bone script. It was used in the Shang Dynasty- the very first in China- more than 3,000 years ago, which makes these beads being sold on Ebay for a couple dollars possibly as old as that. This  Two “eyes” are also featured on the backside of the oracle script tiger bead. It indicates the origins of the dzi bead aren’t exclusive to Tibet or Buddhist monks, but are interwoven with the history of China itself.

58px-Oracle_hu3_tigerb
Oracle Bone Script of “tiger”

Although there is a wide range of symbols and images on dzi beads, one of the most common and ancient are “eyes”. There are many eye designs, ranging from one to 12 or more, which are circles, often with a dot or other circles inside of them. Dots are put together with lines and every bead tells a story of its own through this simple language that even the illiterate might be able to read. The one eyed dzi bead above with a triangle or mountain design on the reverse which could be symbolic for the sun and mountains or earth.

2eyeddziaa

twoeyeddziaa

Two eyed dzi bead above, a similar eye is on the other side. Three eyed below, again with a hidden eye on the backside.

threeeyeddziaa

5eyedba

6eyeddzica

Six eyed dzi bead
Six eyed dzi bead
sixeyeddziba
A rare 6 eyed bead with triangles
Seven eyed dzi bead
Seven eyed dzi bead
Eight eyed dzi bead
Eight eyed dzi bead
eighteyedba
Another variation of an 8 eyed dzi

Ancient 8 eyed dzi bead shown above. It is unknown if these types of dzi beads that are so cracked are older than other ones, or if they are made from a different type of stone and inlay material.

9eyeddzifa

A common type of 9 eyed dzi bead pattern with “steps” shown above and below. The one above is far older than the one below and has an extra stripe at the ends of the design. These nine eyed dzi beads are by far the most common type being sold.

Where did all these beads come from, so prized and so treasured by Tibetans and monks for centuries? The Chinese police and military have regularly confiscated everything people own out of their homes and persons, as well as apparently robbing many, many ancient graves. The 9 eyed dzi bead below has a surface film on it typical of being buried in arid regions.

9eyeddziab

9eyeddziga

9eyeddziha

Huge sized 9 eyed dzi beads that may have came from monasteries.

9eyeddziia

9eyeddzida

9 eyed dzi beads with a honeycomb pattern above.

10eyeddziaa

Twelve eyed dzi bead
Twelve eyed dzi bead

15eyedba

16eyedziaa

25eyedaa

27eyeddziaa

30eyeddziaa

32eyeddziaa

The bead above is called a 32 eye, while the bead below is called a 33 eyed by some sellers- both appear to be the same design though, and someone has miscounted the eyes.

33eyeddziaa

33eyeddziba

34eyeddziaa

36eyeddziaa

36eyeddziba

54eyeddziaa

54eyeddziba

54eyeddzica

72eyeddziaa

81eyeddziaa

  • 81 eyed See this auction: sold 08/27/2016 for $35.00 by zqr1981_2013

104eyedaa

108eyedaa

  • 108 eyed Buy It Now page ($283.00) by green-jade: no longer a registered user when checked back 02/2017

It must be reiterated that the price that Tibetan and Chinese things are currently being sold at on Ebay is not a fair assessment of the value of the item, particularly for insurance purposes or even for resale. These are the devalued prices that have occurred because of tremendous flooding of the market by the Chinese, as well as the fact that they won’t give a real provenance to any of these items- if you ask about them and want specifics, the sellers are make statements like “Big Tibetan Market”, but you never can get addresses or names to actually follow up on. For anyone who knows the plight of Tibetan monks in the hands of the Chinese, something must seem fishy particularly at these prices and this volume, so many honest buyers stay away if they can at all put two and two together.

There are many “speculators”- a small group of unscrupulous people who know the true value of items who are there to buy as much as possible to resell at a higher price, and these are mainly the purchasers I believe (besides a few random people who just wanted a bead or two and didn’t really know what they were). When that many sacred items are just being transferred from one selfish person to another while they are making a killing (literally), there is something really, really wrong in the world today.

What was it people believed in these days? Was it just ME, ME, ME??? How is this better than God or Buddha?

carvedfromstoneaa

carvedfromrockdzitwokb

Something like this agate bracelet which has been inlayed with the design of lotuses, an auspicious Buddhist symbol would have probably came directly from the grave/stupa, and the discoloration of the design may be because it was buried, not just age itself. Another indication of its extreme age and Tibetan origin is its size, at a diameter of about 182 mm, this would be a very small bangle, particularly if you consider they may have been worn by a man.

Malas made entirely from dzi beads are very rare an expensive to begin with, made of agate that is carved and inlayed with materials as hard as the agate itself for many centuries, and keep in mind they don’t actually make dzi beads in Tibet anymore, but import fakes in from Korea these days. Also the “malas” featured below do not have the ordinary number of 108 beads for Buddhist prayer beads or even 99 and 33 for Muslim prayer beads, and have just been restrung from old used beads for resale. Typically in Tibet you find people with many more mixed beads in their necklaces, and just a couple dzi beads.

Tibetan Dzi Bead Mala

The dzi beads that make up these necklaces are 3 eyed, while the end beads next to the tassel is 9 eyed. This is the most common design and arrangement when strung in a necklace, partially because these simple and common three and nine eyed beads bring less money when sold individually.

Green Dzi mala

Green is a very unusual color for the agate to be to begin with, and may be actually be glass or dyed agate.

Green Dzi Bead Bracelet

Dzi bead bracelet

  • Sold 08/04/2015 for $10.00
  • See another auction using same photo: sold 12/15/2015 for $2.25 by goodjv
Two bracelets. One I want to call auspicious ox (yak) and the other is quite close to a NW Coast soul catcher form with two heads.
Two bracelets. One is an auspicious ox (yak) and the other is quite close to a NW Coast soul catcher form with two heads coincidentally.

Buddha malaSee this auction: sold 08/07/2015 for $14.05 by china-dreamer

The blue and white beads below may either be glass or resin. Not sure.

Blue & White glass Mala

Colored glass mala
USED Buddhist prayer beads

Also glass is used to simulate the traditional agate beads, these are only colored on the outside, the glass itself is a clear color which you can see through the chipped holes in the right light.

Other popular carved rock beads include lapis lazuli:

lapismalaca

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

  • 351 on 04/24/2016 including 42 auctioned in 10 days
  • 362 on 05/14/2016 including 34 auctioned in 10 days
  • 465 on 05/27/2016 including 56 auctioned in 10 days
  • 419 on 07/03/2016 including 33 auctioned in 10 days
  • 472 on 08/03/2016 including 37 auctioned in 10 days
  • 444 on 08/13/2016 including 36 auctioned in 10 days
  • 436 on 09/10/2016 including 39 auctioned in 10 days
  • 406 on 10/11/2016 including 40 auctioned in 10 days
  • 544 on 03/10/2017 including 39 auctioned in 10 days
  • 554 on 04/13/2017 including 32 auctioned in 10 days
  • 467 on 05/05/2017 including 42 auctioned in 10 days
  • 488 on 06/20/2017 including 37 auctioned in 10 days

Turquoise- most often a synthetic form of dyed rock (howlite), one of Tibet’s favorite rocks, is also well represented in the Buddhist prayer beads taken by the communists that are now up for sale. A red form is shown below that is also thought to imitate coral:

Red turquoise Mala
Three colors of Tibetan “turquoise” are the most common- red, white and blue. Red shown here.

Many of the necklaces that are being sold as “prayer beads” or Buddhist malas do not have the correct number of beads- 108, and have been restrung from various necklaces that have been confiscated over time. The white, blue and red “turquoise” are all a synthetic stone made by Tibetans for many millennia. Some of these beads- though they look new in the photos that are repetitively used by multiple sellers- may be quite ancient, and dug up from graves and/or other material remains like many other items being sold by the Chinese.

whiteturquoisemalaaa

Two different forms of synthetic turquoise- undyed- shown above and below. The example above is less porous than the stone below, and the cracks are darker stone color above, while below the cracks are real cracks in the surface of the stone which have subsequently gathered more dirt over time.

Though many strands are being sold as brand new, if you look at the eyes of the carved skulls below- they tell quite a different story and appear to have been buried for a while in an arid place to develop a surface layer of salt over the old dirt.

 

howliteskullmalaba

Tibetan Turquoise Mala

Turquoise prayer beads

Tibetan Turquoise prayer beads

Turquoise prayer beads with dzi eyes
A very, very common prayer beads set featuring turquoise (or howlite? or maybe even man-made) with agate dzi beads
  • See this auction: sold 12/11/2015 for $7.51 by goodjv
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 07/04/2016 for $5.72 by goodjv
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 07/24/2016 for $5.50 by goodjv
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 07/21/2016 for $14.00 by goodjv
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 08/08/2016 for $12.00 by goodjv
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 08/10/2016 for $6.59 by goodjv
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 09/12/2016 for $5.50 by goodjv
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 09/13/2016 for $11.50 by goodjv
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 02/19/2017 for $14.50 by goodjv
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 02/19/2017 for $14.50 by goodjv
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous by goodjv
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 12/9/2015 for $9.23 by 3.cn498: no longer a registered Ebay user by 2017
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 12/13/2015 for $3.26 by mini2016 
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous : sold 12/22/2015 for $6.50 by mini2016 
  • Buy It Now page ($10.99- more than 10 available, 2 sold 1/2016: sold out prior to 07/2016) by mini2016 
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 12/22/2015 for $19.50 by bright*li
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 12/26/2015 for $9.50 by cat_jingjing: no longer a registered Ebay user by 2016
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 12/22/2016 for $2.80 by dongd-hk: no longer a registered user when checked back 06/2017
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller : sold 03/28/2016 for $3.25 by woshipengfan1991
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 04/02/2016 for $4.81 by woshipengfan1991: no longer a registered user when checked back 06/2017
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 04/05/2016 for $34.00 by 0hk2439
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 04/24/2016 for $9.51 by 0hk2439
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 05/05/2016 for $9.00 by 0hk2439
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 06/03/2016 for $10.50 by 0hk2439
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 07/08/2016 for $14.50 by 0hk2439
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 08/03/2016 for $10.15 by 0hk2439
  • Another auction, different photo, same seller as previous: sold 08/08/2016 for $15.00 by 0hk2439
  • Another auction, different photo, same seller as previous: sold 10/14/2016 for $16.50 by 0hk2439
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 04/05/2016 for $15.00 by good_deal2258
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 04/06/2016 for $4.69 by good_deal2258
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 04/24/2016 for $15.40 by good_deal2258
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 04/27/2016 for $8.50 by good_deal2258
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous by good_deal2258
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 04/29/2016 for $9.00 by decai886
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 05/29/2016 for $7.28 by zong24xiao
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 07/04/2016 for $3.75 by zong24xiao
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 08/07/2016 for $5.50 by zong24xiao
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 07/07/2016 for $5.91 by nyslj11223-5
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 07/10/2016 for $3.54 by sddylf
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 07/22/2016 for $15.00 by 8ny8311
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 08/18/2016 for $14.00 by 8ny8311
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 10/12/2016 for $8.50 by 8ny8311
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 02/14/2017 for $13.00 by 8ny8311
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 03/16/2017 for $5.50 by 8ny8311: no longer a registered Ebay user when checked back 2017, probably legitimate seller though with 506 positive feedback and 4 negative
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 07/19/2016 for $14.50 by hongshanculture
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous by hongshanculture
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 08/04/2016 for $6.10 by cn.qin7
  • Buy It Now page, same photo, different seller ($8.99- 1 available, 9 sold): listing ended 12/25/2015 with 10 total sold by cn.qin7
  • Relisted Buy It Now page, same photo, same seller as previous (8.99- 6 available, 4 sold 1/2016): listing ended 03/18/2016 with 10 total sold by cn.qin7
  • Relisted Buy It Now page, same photo, same seller as previous ($8.99): listing ended 05/15/2016 with 10 total sold by cn.qin7
  • Relisted Buy It Now page, same photo, same seller as previous (8.99- 10 available, 22 sold 02/2017): listing ended 03/12/2017 with 23 total sold by cn.qin7
  • Relisted Buy It Now page, same photo, same seller as previous ($7.99- 6 available, 3 sold 06/2017) by cn.qin7
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 08/09/2016 for $7.75 by hywangtao: no longer a registered user when checked back 06/2017- apparently a fake seller who used Chinese photos which they also reuse over and over again- “Fake Seller. Doesn’t send the items. SCAM. Don’t buy” -Buyer: h***a; “false tracking number never sent, ebays policys are rubbish regarding this” – Buyer:
    i***c; “100% CROOK. No items, no delivery. Sells PHOTO of items does NOT HAVE” – Buyer: s***i 
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 08/09/2016 for $8.50 by bxb99688: no longer a registered user when checked back 06/2017
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 08/03/2016 for $10.50 by vnmf9956
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 09/15/2016 for $8.50 by vnmf9956: no longer a registered user when checked back 06/2017
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 08/14/2016 for $7.06 by kiteqw
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 08/14/2016 for $6.29 by happyhong168
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 09/16/2016 for $6.80 by happyhong168
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 10/15/2016 for $6.05 by happyhong168
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller: sold 03/14/2017 for $12.50 by happyhong168
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous by happyhong168
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 08/14/2016 for $14.50 by baixue20140709
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 09/11/2016 for $7.50 by baixue20140709
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 10/12/2016 for $11.50 by baixue20140709
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous: sold 02/14/2017 for $5.50 by baixue20140709
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous by baixue20140709
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 08/14/2016 for $5.59 by catlcx2002: no longer a registered user when checked back 06/2017- apparently another fraudster using the Chinese seller’s photos: “cyber criminal !!! dont ship the items but resell now ebaynames tlqb and catlcx”- Buyer: o***p; “Fake Seller!! Tracker shows item being delivered to wrong address” – Buyer: d***5; “no chance of getting this – no longer registered” – Buyer: c***o
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 09/14/2016 for $8.50 by botong1980: no longer a registered Ebay user when checked back 06/2017, same situation as previous sellers who used other’s photos to sell stuff they didn’t have: “Bought several items all had fake tracking numbers will be requesting refund” – Buyer: m***s; “Das Objekt ist nie angekommen!” – Buyer: e***e; “Vorsicht Scheinfirma!” –  Buyer: 1***1
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 09/14/2016 for $7.50 by rainstreet11: no longer a registered user when checked back 06/2017 but could have been legitimate- no bad feedback
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 09/17/2016 for $4.25 by woshixingxingbaobei: no longer a registered user when checked back 06/2017, may also have scammed buyers- “Fake tracking number woshixingxingbaobei , zhi-xiu-tang , gaomi21 are same ID”-  Buyer: b***u; “ATTENTION!!! SCAMMER!!! DO NOT BUY!!!” –  Buyer: s***i
  • Another auction, different photo, different seller: sold 10/14/2016 for $10.35 by 6hk1313
  • Another auction, different photo, same seller as previous: sold 02/19/2017 for $14.00 by 6hk1313
  • Another auction, different photo, different seller: sold 10/16/2016 for $5.24 by liusili19930815
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 10/15/2016 for $8.00 by huan-niuni
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 10/16/2016 for $6.50 by njoq4857
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 02/15/2017 for $3.25 by 0212234
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 02/18/2017 for $2.25 by chinese*art*antique
  • Another auction, same photo, same seller as previous by chinese*art*antique
  • Another Buy It Now page, same photo, same seller as previous ($12.99- 1 available, 2 sold 07/2016; 1 available, 2 sold 02/2017): no longer listed by 06/2017, unclear how many total were sold by chinese*art*antique
  • Another Buy It Now page, same photo, same seller as previous ($12.99- 3  available, 7 sold 06/2017) by chinese*art*antique
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 02/18/2017 for $14.19 by hotshopping6632
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 02/20/2017 for $7.50 by good_olditems4531
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 02/20/2017 for $1.75 by good_deal6162: no longer a registered user when checked back 06/2017, but was probably legitimate seller with 665 positive feedback and 10 negative
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 03/17/2017 for $4.35 by 2454832
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 03/12/2017 for $4.76 by arts-factory888
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller: sold 04/19/2017 for $14.09 by bluejayshopping1658
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller by danwangle10-9
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller by tiancaixiaoxiong11
  • Another auction, same photo, different seller by bpvf7819
  • Buy It Now page ($6.46- 5 available, 168 sold 08/2015; 5 available, 361 sold 12/2015; 5 available, 441 sold 1/2016; 7 available, 677 sold 07/2016; 7 available, 743 sold 10/2016): listing ended 01/20/2017 with 771 total sold by clothing*wholesale
  • Another Buy It Now page, same photo, same seller as previous ($6.47) by clothing*wholesale
  • Buy It Now page ($9.99- 5 available 12/2015) by chen2000xing– no longer a registered user when checked back on page 1/2016
  • Another Buy It Now page, same photo, different seller ($7.59- 3 available 3/2016; 3 available 5 sold 07/2016): listing ended 01/20/2017 with 10 total sold by ncvnfl5188
  • Another Buy It Now page, same photo, same seller as previous ($6.62- 2 available 02/2017) by ncvnfl5188: no longer a registered user when checked back 06/2017- though probably a legitimate seller 1,421 positive feedback and 18 negative
  • Another Buy It Now page, same photo, different seller ($9.99- 4 available, 4 sold 4/2016; 4 available, 8 sold 07/2016; 4 available, 12 sold 02/2017) by ronzho6: no longer a registered Ebay user by 06/2017- though I had ordered from and received goods from this seller in the past, apparently at the end they just took people’s money and ran: “No item and no communication. Buyers beware of this seller.” – Buyer: u***e; “Another Chinese seller gone bad, shame on you! Grade: F-” – Buyer:
    u***s; “Never shipped. Had to file case.” – Buyer: e***e
  • Another Buy It Now page, same photo, different seller ($9.97- more than 10 available, 11 sold 4/2016; 7 available, 18 sold 10/2016; 6 available, 19 sold 02/2017; 5 available, 20 sold 06/2017) by gogochufa2013
  • Another Buy It Now page, same photo, different seller ($6.99- 2 sold, 1 available 7/2016): listing ended in 2016 with 2 total sold by cuiyinye2014
  • Another Buy It Now page, same photo, different seller ($6.88- 2 available, 3 sold 02/2017): no longer listed by 06/2017, unclear of how many total were sold by 4cn2292
  • Another Buy It Now page, same photo, different seller ($5.36- more than 10 available, 12 sold 02/2017): listing ended prior to 06/2017, unclear of how many total were sold by qin787-55
  • Relisted Buy It now page, same photo, same seller as previous ($4.54- 8 available, 7 sold 06/2017) by qin787-55
  • Another Buy It Now page, same photo, different seller ($9.49- 3 available, 4 sold 03/2017): listing ended 04/14/2017 with 8 total sold by chinahomepage555
  • Relisted Buy It Now page, same photo, same seller as previous ($9.49- 4 available, 6 sold 06/2017) by chinahomepage555
  • Another Buy It Now page, same photo, different seller ($13.50- 2 available 06/2017) by jianglonwan_8
  • Another Buy It Now page, same photo, different seller ($9.99- 5 available 06/2017) by 2012elegan

But apparently no one could tell that these people were working together and connected to recent historical events? Look in each of their shops at the rest of the goods. There is a repetitive pattern of the same goods appearing over and over again, being sold by the exact same photograph in many cases. For a country with a population the size of France, the Tibetans sure are keeping the Chinese in business. That’s what happens when you annihilate millions and steal their stuff then have to sort it all- this isn’t just from a couple Tibetan down on their luck in need of cash or confiscations from a couple rowdies in the bunch- you end up getting many multiples of the same items and sell them for less than what it would cost to make them new.

Number of items found in a search of “turquoise mala” on Ebay:

  • 1,164 on 04/24/2016 including 122 auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,267 on 05/07/2016 including 141 auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,460 on 05/27/2016 including 160 auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,493 on 07/03/2016 including 151 auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,574 on 07/18/2016 including 170 auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,652 on 08/03/2016 including 198 auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,642 on 08/13/2016 including 174 auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,527 on 09/10/2016 including 148 auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,460 on 10/11/2016 including 159 auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,445 on 10/25/2016 including 149 auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,525 on 02/13/2017 including 134 auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,576 on 03/10/2017 including 163 auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,596 on 04/13/2017 including 172 auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,635 on 05/02/2017 including 179 auctioned in 10 days
  • 1,603 on 06/20/2017 including 137 auctioned in 10 days

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s