BANDED AGATE &
VARIEGATED JASPER BEADS
From the late Indus Valley Civilization 1900 B.C. to the classical period until 100 A.D.

The most beautiful beads were made around 3000 years ago!

 


IVBA   -     17 * 11 mm
In this amazing bead you can
see at least 6 different colours!
You can also see the rare red
cinnabar
'blood spots' on this bead.
Click on picture for larger image


The old craftsmen
used copper drills drills to
make these holes. How could
these people drill such beautiful
holes with such primitive tools?
This gorgeous bead is one of my favorites.

 

 A Golden Age of beads
In what is referred to as the late Harappan period from 1900 to 1000 B.C. expressions of art
reached a climax. Most of the Indus beads displayed on
Ancientbead.com are from this late period.  
 
With exceptions, the art of bead making has been in a slow decline since then.
As an example, take a short look on the page with the etched beads from the later
Maurian period; most of the beads from this period are made in a much more sloppy way.

Hence the most beautiful beads were made more than 3000 years ago! The large
holed Indus beads you can see below are like cultural messengers, each of them in the language
of stone. Shapes and colors bearing witness to an age where there was ample time to sit with
a single piece of agate and wait for the right bead to emerge.


An ideal bead is both ancient and beautiful!
The beads displayed here would be stunning even if they were new!
 
Each of the beads displayed on this page are among the most perfect beads I have seen!
 

These beads are composed pieces of art where
the beauty of the stone patterns are
revealed by their makers.
They are made out of the human intention to create beauty.
Around 3000 years ago they came out of raw stone to let itself be displayed on this page. 

Believing that the the sculpture was waiting inside the stone for the artist to free it, these ancient
craftsmen knew the art of letting the different natural motifs of the agate show itself at its finest! 

As you can see in most of the beads, symmetry plays an important role in choosing-creating the motives.
Often you can also find the golden angle in the motives.
In the magic Eye Beads the
eye is almost always placed in the symmetric middle or in the golden angle position. 


Beads as currency
In the Indus Valley civilization it is easy to assume that beautiful beads had a symbolic religious
function that reached into the sphere of trade. Beads would fulfill the same function as later coins would.

In the historic periods to follow the Indus culture beads started to loose their importance as currency
because the relatively high and well ordered social organization of Kingdoms made the controlled mass
production of coins possible. A bead does not posses the same quantifiable quality as a coin produced
by a certain Kingdom. In contrast to a coin the value is of a certain bead can always be argued.
 However if the beads lost their importance as currency they
at least in the east never lost their importance as magic totems!

 

Late Indus Valley to the
beginning of the Classical Period
1000 BC to 100 A.D.
 
The beads displayed here are from the area called Rakhigarhi in Haryana, India.
Rakhigarhi is remarkable since this area was continously populated from the Indus time up to 100. A.D.
As the Indus river civilization died out with the change of rivers in what is now Pakistan around 1900 BC,
this remarkable culture went eastward. It spread into India where it continued to evolve until around 1000 BC.
Rakhigarhi is such a remarkable area.
  
In this particular area the Indus civilization merged into the early classical time in such a way that the cultural
knowledge of the Indus people did not die out, but could continue to evolve, as we can clearly see in the scans below,
into an absulute peak! The beads you see displayed below, could also be categorized as beads from the early
classical period.


The hunt for beauty
The late Indus people went to great efforts to obtain exotic stones for
making beads of different colors, shapes and sizes. With increasing bead making skills in
the end of the Indus Valley period it was not enough just to posses a perfect made bead.
In order for the bead and its owner to stand out the hunt for the special stone became more and
more important. The Indus people and the Mesopotamians loved jasper. It was their favroite gem stome.
Especially they liked variegated jasper.
Jasper is an opaque cryptocrystalline quartz, typically red to
brown, or in more rare cases green.
The strange mineral 'landscapes' you will explore below reflect the strive for
the sublime made bead made out of the sublime material. In these kind of rare beads one will often find what is
called variegated jasper.  In this type of jasper there are up to 20 percent non-quartz elements.
These elements account or the wide
range of colours and decorative patterns.
 

IV  1
-   19 * 10 mm

One of the simple
reasons behind these

IV  2 -  14 * 9 mm

An almost abstract painting in

 
A unique bead with 6-colored spiral motif.
Crystalline bands
 
beautiful holes is time:
Ample of time just to
sit with one bead.
green, rosa and white colors.
Indus Valley beads were the the first
to demonstrate abstract art in the world!
 
 
IV  3 -
A wonderful 3 colored bead with a golden angle motif. It has stunning artistic banding and colour tones.
  IV 4 -   18 * 10 mm
A 3 colored bead with
a beautiful golden angle motif.
 
 

IV  5 -     23 * 7 mm
A tubular shaped bead with 3-colored spiral motif.
The banding lines are 'composed' in a very
harmoneous way in this incredible bead.

-
 
 
IV  6     14 * 8 mm
A beautiful and very rare colour combination of
yellow and red. It seems that red stripes and dots were the indus peoples favorite. At least I have not seen beads with so many red coloured motif as in this collection from the Indus Valley.
 
 
IV  7   - 21 * 9 mm
 
  IV  8    - 20 * 10 mm
 
 

IV  9  -  25 * 8 * 7 mm  
A tubular shaped bead with a soft rosa colored motif.
The eyeformation in the midle is less visible.
    IV  10   -  17 * 11 mm
This stunning bead reminds me of
pictures of Saturn.
 

IV  12   - 15 * 10 mm
A beautiful and calm composition
in spiral striped bead.
IV  11   - 21 * 11 mm
A komplimentary, golden angle
color composition in red and green.
 
     
IV  13   -  17 * 9 mm
A beautiful and very unusual color blend
displying a symmetrical motif.

 
  IV  14   - 16 * 9 mm
A komplimentary color
composition in red and green.

 
 

IV 15    - 21 * 9 mm
Soft yellow and rosa colours spiral their
way round this bead. As said before: these
old artist have composed these beads.
They are ancient masterpieces of art.
  IV  16  - 14 * 10 * 9 mm
Etched Red and black banded agate
are extremely rare. But the two beads you see
here are not etched! It is their natual colour!
This natural colour combination have never
been seen before! Maybe these two beads are the
only of their kind who has 'survived' up till today.
 
 
IV  17 -   19 * 6 mm
Eye bead - This is the back side of the bead.
Look in the
eye bead section to see the front side.

 
  IV  18  -  13* 8 mm
The red color in this fantastic bead
looks almost like it has been etched
into the stone. But it is natural!

 
 

IV  19   -   22 - 20 * 9 mm
I think this incredible bead is made out of
fossilized agate. The Indus people loved
to make beads out of rare materials.
     IV  20 -   18 * 11 mm
In this bead the bands of red, yellow
and brown are very thin. 
 

IV  22 -    18 * 8 mm
IV  21  -  22* 11 mm
 
     

IV  24  -  20 * 10 mm
IV  23   - 19 * 11 * 10 mm
In this bead it becomes clear that
the etched beads in the beginning very designed
to dopy the original stripes. It is stange that today
collectors prefer the etched 'copies'.
 
     
IV  25  -  23 * 9 mm
 
  IV  26  -  19 * 9 mm
The design on this bead is 100% natural!

 
 

IV  27  -   20 * 8 mm
    IV  28   - 18 * 10 * 7 mm
 
 

IV  30  - 17 * 10 mm
IV  29  - 27 * 9 mm
A soft motif made of dark red and green colours
 
  The symmetry and harmony in the colour composition in this bead is awesome.  

IV  32  - 23 * 7 mm
Tubular shaped bead
IV  31  21 * 9 mm
 
     
IV 33  - 25 * 10 mm
Note the red colour in a wonder banded
display of 5 different colours!

 
  IV  34    -   15 * 10 mm
 
 
IV  35  -  18 * 10 mm
In this awesome bead it is clear to
see how the etching of beads was an attempt
to copy mother nature.
  IV  36   - 14 * 8 mm
On this rare ancient bead you will find 4
different versions of the red colour!

 
 
IV  37  - 18 * 8 mm
Mother nature's natural banding

 
Look at this hole...
No artist in the later periods could make such holes!
IV  38   -  15 * 10 mm
 
 
IV  39  -  19 * 10 mm
 
  IV  40   -  20 * 11 mm
 
 

 
IV  40
 
  IV  41
 
 
IV  42   - 10 * 10 mm
Eye bead made of fossilized stone.
 This is the back side.
Look in the
eye bead section
to see the front side.
 
  IV  43    - 9 * 7 mm

 
 
   
IV  41  - - 13 * 9 mm
In this bead you can see
formations of crystal quartz
 
     


TRANSLUCENT INDUS VALLEY/ EARLY CLASSIC PERIOD BEADS

 

The beauty of translucent beads is a bit difficult to display on a website. Unfortunately it is impossible to capture the real shine of a translucent bead.  The 3-dimensional lustre can only be experienced when you have the bead in your hand. Still I hope you can get a glimpse of the magic shine emanating from these ancient beads! The translucent shine of the bead TIVB 2 has not diminished in over 3000 years!
 
Many of these beads have not been heat treated.

A beautiful bead is a messenger transcending time
As you look through the stone you pierce through time.
The same shine that has captivated the bead makers in the golden Indus Valley  still still shines bright even today!

A timeless bond between you and your ancestors living countless generations before you is established in this fascination of translucent bead-beauty.


 

 

Wonderful 'cooked' Multi Colored Translucent Banded Agate Beads


TL 2    -   25 * 6 mm

TL 1     - 26 * 8 mm
 

Click on pictures
for larger image
   
TL 3    - 26 * 8 mm
Eye bead - Look in the eye bead section.
 
  TL 4   -   24 * 9 mm
A fantastic bead with spiralled red
and crystal quartz bands!!
 
 

TL 6 -   21 * 8 mm
TL 5  - 22 * 11 mm
 
     

TL 8   -  20 * 7 mm
TL 7   - 24* 10 mm
Eye bead - Look in the eye bead section.
 
     
TL 9   -  23 * 7 mm
 
  TL 10   - 15 * 8 mm
 
 

TL 11   - 19 * 10 mm

TL 12   - 14 * 7 mm
       
'Cooked', heat treated flat shaped translucent carnelian Beads

The next series is showing heat treated lenticular beads. The deep carnelian colour is not so  dominant in these beads.
Maybe they were only heat treated through repeated sun exposure.

 


C 1    - 19 * 10 * 8 mm
    C 2   - 16 * 12 * 7 mm
 
 

C 4   - 14 * 10 * 5 mm
C 3   - 13 * 11 * 5 mm
 
     

 
C 5  - 12 * 9 * 6 mm
 
  C 6   - 14 * 8 * 5 mm
 
 
C 7   - 13 * 10 * 5 mm
 
  C 8   - 13 * 10 * 7 mm
 
 

C 1O   - 18 * 10 * 5 mm
C 9   - 17 * 10 * 6 mm
 
     
     
Flat shaped multicolored variegated jasper
 
F 1   -  19 * 11 * 8 mm

 
  F 2   - 13 * 8 * 6 mm
 
 

F 4   - 21 * 6 * 5 mm
F  3   - 23 * 11 * 5 mm
 
     

F 6   - 15 * 8 * 5 mm
F 5   - 19 * 11 * 7 mm
 
     

F 8   - 17 * 12 * 8 mm
F 7   - 22 * 12 * 8 mm
 
     
 F 9   - 18 * 11 * 7 mm
 
  F 10   -   18 * 11 * 6 mm  
 F 11    - 21 * 8 * 6,5 mm
The photo scan shows clearly the special
uneven surface on this bead and the one to the right.
This polishing technique on these beads unusual
with very rough abrasives
 
  F 12      - 21 * 8 * 6,5 mm  

F 13   -  14 * 9 * 4 mm
    F 14     - 13 * 10 * 7 mm
 
 
       
Flat shaped rare colored Indus Valley Beads


The color of these beads is very rare. The first seven beads are almost identical. The last one in the series is a bit larger.


 

FM 1   - 20 * 10 * 5 mm
 
  FM 2   - 20 * 10 * 5 mm
 
 
FM 3   - 20 * 10 * 5 mm
 
  FM 4   - 20 * 10 * 5 mm
 
 
FM 5   - 20 * 10 * 5 mm
 
  FM 6   - 20 * 10 * 5 mm
 
 
FM 7   - 20 * 10 * 5 mm
 
  FM 8   - 22 * 11 * 7 mm
 
 




UNCOOCKED INDUS VALLEY BEADS           


 
Beads in all form and shapes
The ancient Indus Valley people went to great efforts to obtain agate stones for making beads of right colors, shapes and sizes.
Among all these shapes the flat shaped beads are among the most interesting - especially the lenticular shaped ones. Uncooked beads makes the task of chipping the beads into shape more difficult!
On top of it many of the beads in this series are translucent.

Unfortunately the lustre of 'uncooked' - not heat treated - carnelian is difficult to display through a photo scan.
 
Still I am sure you will enjoy the mastery of the ancient bead makers.
 
 

'Uncooked', lenticular shaped translucent carnelian Beads

       

U 2   - 19 * 12 * 7 mm
U 1    - 25 * 20 * 7
 
     

U 3   - 18 * 12 * 5 mm
    U 4   - 22 * 13 * 6 mm
 
 

U 5  - 15 * 11 * 6 mm
    U 6   - 17 * 10 * 6 mm
 
 
U 7  -  19 * 10 * 8 mm
 
  U 8  -  16 * 10 * 8 mm  

 U 10- 11 * 8 * 5 mm
 
U 9  -  19 * 10 * 7 mm
 
     
Very flat shaped  dual colored translucent Beads - 'uncooked'
       
FTB 1   - 17 * 14 * 4 mm
 
  FTB 2   - 13 * 14 * 4 mm
 
 

FTB 4   - 11 * 10 * 3 mm
FTB 3   - 15 * 12 * 4 mm

 
     

Translucent, uncooked, banded agate - white/grey
       
TBA 1   - 26 * 9 mm
 
  TBA 2   - 19 * 10 mm
 
 

TBA 3   - 21 * 9 mm
    TBA 4   - 18 * 12 mm
 
 

TBA 6   - 21 * 8 mm
TBA 5   -   20  * 10 mm
 
     

TBA 7   - 25 * 10 mm

TBA 8   -  20 * 7 mm
       

TBA 10   - 19 * 9 mm
TBA 9   - 19 * 12 mm
 
     

TBA 11   - 21 * 5 mm
    TBA 12   - 21 * 7 mm   

TBA 13   - 22 * 7 mm
    TBA 14   - 15 * 8 mm
 
 

TBA 16   - 17 * 5 mm
TBA 15   - 18 * 8 mm
 
     

TBA 17   - 12 * 6 mm
    TBA 18   - 18 * 6 mm
 
 
       





A unique translucent pendant bead

 
 


 


 

Rakhigarhi, Jagadhari, Yamuna Nagar
 Haryana