SOLOMONS AGATE VERSUS SULEMANI AGATE
 
Even though Sulemani means Solomon,
ancientbead.com has chosen to define the term
Solomon Agate
as different from Sulemani Agate.

 Real Solomon agate?
Here you can see bead samples made of

agate with a quite different look.
From where this agate was sourced nobody knows.




SB
0 - Period: before 1000 B.C.

  On the illustration above you will see a quite different kind of black and white banded agate than the Sulemani agate displayed further down the page. The patina of these two kinds of agate is quite different.
 
On the first two illustrations the beads do not display the same kind of glass like shine as the more ordinary Sulemani beads. Another characteristics is that the real Solomon agate shows greater contrast between the black and the white colours.

The holes in the real Solomon agate beads are due to age mostly larger than in the later Sulemani beads.

According to Mr. Malik Hakila, a world leading bead expert and a bead shop owner from Kathmandu who also runs a bead factory in Cambey, Gujarat, the banded agate shown on the first two illustrations today only is found in the form of ancient beads. The actual mining place of this kind of agate is presently unknown!  Due to this fact this special agate has got the mythological honor of being called: Agate from the lost mines of King Solomon!
 

Of course it is not possible to know if this agate really was mined from Solomos mines. But it is a beautiful fantasy. What is real is that this type of agate is rare and that nobody knows form where it is sourced.

The colouring af the sulemani beads is man made

But the final look of these agate stone beads are nearly all man made. To get the contrast between the black and the white stripes, these beads are soaked in honey or sugar water. This technique was invented by the mysterious Indus people. You can read more about that here.

Genuine Solomon's agate beads


Largest 19 * 5 mm - (Burma)
SB 1


  22 * 5  mm - (Burma)
This bead is done in the exact same material as
the bow bead displayed to the left.
SB 2


12 * 6 * 4,5 mm
SB 3

11 * 7 mm
SB 4

    10 * 10 * 9  mm
SB  5

  11 * 7 mm
SB 6


25,5 * 18 * 5 mm - (Burma)
A wonderful bow bead.
SB 7


SB 8 10 * 6 mm

ANCIENT SULEMANI BEADS
Buddhist power beads
 

 

Dholak shaped Sulemani agate beads

Click on pictures for larger image
Average: 30 * 10 mm

Matehtilay, Maline, Burma
SB 9

These exceptionally beautiful Sulemani beads look like new beads.
I have not seen such colors, black translucense and banding as one can observe in these beads.
A close examination of the holes shows that the beads have almost not been used.
However, they are most probably ancient, displaying the most wonderful excavation
patina with a lovely soft sheen. They have been stored away as precious jewels.
 
You can read more about excavation beads here.

I marvel at this ancient skill of letting the artful patterns emerge out of the raw stone.
These beads may have originated from India, but could also be a product of Burma's own craftsmen.


SB 10 - 30 * 10 mm Origin: Burma

I have singled this bead out of the lot because of its exceptional beauty.
A Tibetan bead trader called it a single chakri bead.



 
SB 11  - 26 * 23 * 12 mm
Origin: The Himalayas

Period: 300 B.C. to 1000 A.D.

              This wonderful tabular, natural banded agate bead has a beautiful patina and a unique pattern.
Like the Bhaisajyagurubeads below this bead has a
chocolate brown colour with natural crystalline banding.



Barrel shaped Sulemani agate beads


SB 12  - 23 * 10 mm


    
SB 13  - 17 * 11 mm


 
SB 14 14 * 9 mm



Bicone Sulemani agate beads

  
SB 15 - 22 * 14 mm



   
SB 16 23 * 13 mm




   
SB 17  - 23 * 12 mm



SB 18 15 * 10 mm



Pendant sulemani

SB 19  -  18 * 11 mm



Wonderful Bhaisajyaguru beads!

Buddhist Bhaisajyaguru beads

Sulemani agate in a globular bead shape was  used by Sufi Moslem Faqirs and before that
they were used as Buddhist prayer beads. Especilly Afghanistan is interesting in this context.
Afghanistan was a predominant Buddhist culture up to 1000 AD!


As round Buddhist prayer beads the sulemani agate beads are also known as Bhaisajyaguru bead
s.
These Prayer beads removes according to tradition, roots of diseases, ensures health and longevity.
In Mahayana Buddhism, Bhaisajyaguru represents the healing aspect of the historical Buddha Sakyamuni.

These beads have been in the hands of beings with pure intentions for generations.
Some of these beings may even have been enlightened!
 

Small globular & barrel shaped Sulemani/Bhaisajyaguru beads



SB 20 - Average size: 6 mm
Ancient globular Sulemani agate beads
Period: Around  300 B.C. to 1000 A.D.

Click on pictures for larger and more detailed images


Smaller banded Sulemani beads


 Average size: 10 * 5,5 mm
Ancient banded barrel shaped Sulemani agate beads
Period: 300 B.C. to 1000 A.D.


Around 450 small sulemani beads displayed in BS 11 & BS 12

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Contact: Gunnar Myhlman - Gunnars@mail.com