Sometimes I received emails from buyers that the dzi beads they purchased have broken into pieces and what should they do with the beads. There are also website visitors asking about they found someone selling broken dzi beads and should or should not they buy such beads.
In fact, in Tibet, broken dzi beads can be "repaired" by glue together the broken pieces if available.
As you can see from picture above, one quarter of this three colors stripped dzi bead has broken and was glued back to original shape. The repair work was beautifully done.
This unidentified dzi bead is severely damaged and the length is less that half of the original size. It is also break in half as shown in the pictures above. It is glued together now but but not able to recover to original look.
Another way to continue to wear the broken dzi beads is to attach precious metal to the dzi bead, just like the photos below. You can find similar photos in "The Gzi Bead of Tibet" by Lin Tung-Kuang.
You can also stung the broken beads together and make a necklace.
If you want to buy broken dzi bead, you can considered a few factors before purchases.
1) The edge of broken bead
If the edge of the broken line is shape, the bead might be broken just a while ago. If the owner was wearing the broken bead a long time already, the edge will be very smooth.
This is a newly broken old dzi bead. It has a shape edge.
The cross section view of the broken dzi bead.
Another end of this broken dzi bead.
Let's look at another dzi bead. It was broken and make into necklace long time ago.
This old dzi bead has beautiful cinnabar dots at the body. The edge is smooth as a result of the polishing of necklace's thread at the edge.
Cross section view of this broken bead.
This broken dzi bead still looking very beautiful as a necklace!
2) Severity of the damages on the bead
The damage on this dzi bead is severe and might be difficult to maintain.
The damages on this dzi bead is acceptable.
Need to check the lines at the body: any repair on the dzi bead using glue?
3) The original motif of dzi bead before broken
Is this bead originally six eyed or nine eyed dzi bead?
Is this dzi bead originally two eyed or three eyed?
What about this one? It is quite hard to find out.
4) Uniqueness of the broken dzi
You can see even more cinnabar dots inside the body of this old dzi bead. Very beautiful!
Tan Chin Hock