Ancient Pumtek Beads Petrified Fossilized Wood Tubular Dangle Earrings, Bali 24K Gold French Ear Wires
Antique Beautiful Rare Pumtek Pyu Fossilized tubular palm wood beads, Bali 24K Gold Ear Wires
These antique and highly prized and collectible Pumtek beads were purchased by me and my husband in Asia during the late 1980s - a time when we were doing a great deal of traveling - purchasing rare and unique beads for designs I was creating for the Sackler Gallery ( the Smithsonian's Asian Museum ).
We were told at the time that these Pumtek beads are believed to date somewhere between 1000 and 2500 years old.
During this time period, a wave of heirloom beads were first appearing in the West where many of them ended up in private collections such as my own.
Little was known about them at this time and I was incredibly fortunate to be able to purchase a few!
Nowadays they command very high prices in Asia and have started to gain special attention elsewhere. -They are often referred to as "Pyu" beads.
The word "Pumtek" means 'buried thunderbolt' in the Chin language and is currently the most widely adopted name for this unique group of heirloom beads. Such beads are from the Chin state that borders on the Indian state of Mizoram but as a result of trade over the years, such beads can also be found in Thailand.
They were originally crafted in ancient times and display line decorated designs and unique motifs that are not found in any other region. The Chin also have individual names for each bead type and the rarer designs are highly valued. Most Tiger Pumteks have a design that is broken up by two double end stripes such as are on these beads .
Pumtek are also unusual because they are created from silicified wood (also known as opalized, fossilized or petrified wood) and in some cases agate or chalcedony.
As a point of interest : In the 1990s', a small Burmese cottage industry was revived and once again bead makers tried to replicate much earlier Pumtek beads - however, these newer beads are a world apart in terms of quality and craftsmanship. These cottage industries also started to create beads with different and more contemporary designs to renew interest in these kind of beads. Certain shapes and designs were copied that were more commonly associated with the dZi beads of Tibet. Since genuine dZi beads command very high prices in the Himalayan regions, Pumteks with similar designs began to appeal to a wider and more commercial audience.
These gorgeous beads display a lovely usage patina from centuries of heirlooming and being worn on the body. The flecks in the stone show the original grain of the fossilized wood as you can see in my photos.
These beads are in excellent condition with minor weathering commensurate with age.
These beads measure approximately 32 mm x 10 mm ( there are 25mm to the inch ) or approximately 1 1/4" long by 3/8" in width.
These earrings have been finished on 14k gold head pins and 24K Bali gold handmade french ear wires and will arrive in a little box all ready for gift giving.
◉ Shipping includes Registered Insured in the U.S. and Express or Priority Insured Internationally ◉
All Other Countries
First Item: $6.50
Additional Items: $0.50
First Item: $3.50
Additional Items: $0.30
We try to ship (First class) within 72 hours of receiving payment. Insurance will add a bit more depending on the value of your purchase.Our products ship first class mail and Priority Mail in the USA and First Class international.
If the customer wishes to have tracking and insurance for international orders,the package must be shipped either Express or Priority mail. Please contact us for such estimated shipping costs.
We cannot be responsible for shipments lost in transit unless insured by the customer.
**We automatically insure DOMESTIC packages if they're $100 or more! All such packages have a tracking number and normally ship USPS First Class *** Priority mail is $7.50 FOR UP TO 1 lb. of merchandise.
For international shipping of higher value items, please contact us for a shipping quotation.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: POSTAGE RATES HAVE RISEN DRAMATICALLY IN 2016
ORDERS INSIDE USA: A charge of $3.60 covers any first class shipment up to 8 ounces. Our beads vary so much in weight that it is impossible for us to apply a single add-on charge for multiple product orders. We will continue to refund to customers any amount that greatly exceeds our actual cost of shipping and handling.
ORDERS OUTSIDE USA: International First Class rates are now crazy: $13.50 for any package weighing from 1-8 ounces. Even an order for 2-3 small bead items may cost $13.50 or more, depending on the type of material (stone versus resin, for example). Please bear with us for a few weeks while we change our listings to account for the new rates. We apologize in advance if we have to adjust the postage cost of an order that has been placed. We will understand if an order is rescinded when the postage cost is too high relative to the product value.
All international orders have contents described as "loose beads" and are flagged as "commercial samples" or " gift" if you prefer to make your life easier when receiving your beads. If you'd like us to mark your order as " gift" instead please let us know!
All our beads are inspected one by one before being shipped. They are individually wrapped to protect them and then put in little plastic ziploc bags.
All vintage beaded jewelry is either shipped in a little gift box tied with a ribbon or in a vintage Chinese embroidered silk purse.
If you ever have a problem with a damaged bead or jewelry, don't hesitate to contact us. We are only human, and with so many orders going out on a daily basis, there is always room for error. We will replace your order (assuming we have more in stock), issue you a store credit, or give you a full refund if the item is returned in the same condition as it was shipped within 7 days of receiving your order if you are not fully satisfied. You must notify us as soon as you receive your order if there is a problem.
We want you to be 100% thrilled with your purchases!
We value each and every customer and are delighted that you have chosen to shop in our store! Customer relations are extremely important to us and we pride ourselves on the authenticity of what we sell, how we package it, and being accessible to all of you should a question or a problem ever arise.
Thank you - Debby and Joel Arem
Nice beads!! Super fast thanks a lot!!!
I have dreamed of having a necklace such as the jade one. But the red one. That was a surprise. Both are beautiful. Thank you! Best, Jane
Lovely color;!interesting stones.
When I thought that I had ordered two of these and then checked out I had to order another set. The seller was very kind and combined my two orders and refunded my shipping.
Nice quick shipping on some hard to find items! Good packaging too!