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You are here: Home > dZi & other Ancient, Antique & Rare Collectible Beads > Pema Raka Beads


Here you will find ancient and antique Pema Raka (also Pema Raga, Padma Raga) carnelian beads. The Tibetan name Pema Raka originates from the sanskrit words Padma meaning Lotus flower and Rakta meaning red or blood -- and so we have a translation of blood lotus or red lotus. Pema Raka beads range from orange to deep red in colour and come in a variety of shapes. They might also display crystalline banding and natural eyes. It is interesting to note that this name is also given to rubies in both the Tibetan Materia Medica and Indian Ayurvedic texts. Tibetan texts also mention that there are nine varieties of ruby. In Tibetan medicine the Pema Raka is believed to protect from evil spirits and to absorb illnesses.

It has been suggested that the majority of Pema Raka are unlikely to be more than 300 years old (+ or -) and are of Chinese origin (still unproven). However, there is also a widely held belief that some Pema Raka could be as much as 2000 years old, and traded to Tibet from Afghanistan or central Asia. The great weathering and wear at the perforations does point to a much earlier period for some beads. In our opinion there are clearly different periods of manufacture with some being ancient and others being antique. Whether the carnelian is from the same source also needs more investigation. Since Pema Raka are used as an ingredient in Tibetan medicine, it is likely they have been in circulation since at least the 12th century. Pema Raka beads are not to be confused with the more recent Indian made carnelians that are mistakenly called Pema Raka.
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Rare Antique Pema Raka Necklace - 23 Pema Raka + Antique Turquoise
Rare Antique Pema Raka Necklace - 23 Pema Raka + Antique Turquoise
Our Price: £3,500.00

A wonderful large necklace comprised of authentic heirloom Pema Raka and antique Tibetan turquoise. There are a total of 23 Pema Raka all displaying a very desirable usage patina. Many of these fiery red carnelians are likely to be ancient and beads of this quality have almost vanished from the marketplace. In recent years they have become one of the most sought after Himalayan beads in and outside of Asia. The Pema Raka on this necklace range from melon shaped to long fusiform beads. There are also 6 round beads that are particularly desirable. Towards the top of the necklace are 2 antique turquoise beads that are worn smooth from centuries of wearing on the body and a beautiful ancient Blue chalecedony bead. Each bead is flanked by red lotus seeds. Tibetans also believe that Pema Raka have the ability to ward of harmful spirits.

weight 232 grams
largest 49.5 x 23 mm
smallest round 14 mm
length of strand approx 30 inches
Prized in Tibet and the Himalayan regions 300 years to ancient
Condition: Very Good robust beads with some weathering commensurate with age.
Ancient Agate & Pumtek Bead Necklace - 25 beads
Ancient Pema Raka, Ancient Banded Agate & Pumtek Bead Necklace - 25 beads
Our Price: £1,700.00
Sale Price: £1,400.00
You save £300.00!

Special low price!!

A highly collectible necklace comprised of authentic ancient Pumtek stone beads from Burma. Including ancient agates from the Indus Valley through to the Himalayas. There are a good mix of highly agatised six stripe heirloom Pumteks of various sizes (up to 15 mm) and other designs. The necklace is strung with hilltribe silver spacers and a a silver clasp. A total of 18 heirloom Pumteks dating as far back as the Pyu period. Beads display a desirable usage patina and weathering commensurate with great age. There is also a large ancient Pema Raka as the main focal bead.

Condition: Very good with minor weathering
Private European collection from the 1980s
approx length of necklace = 18 inches
smallest round Pumtek = 12 mm
largest round = 15 mm
smallest agate = 20 mm
largest agate = 27 mm
Pema Raka = 31 mm x 22 mm
Age of Agates: ranging from 300 CE to 2500 BCE
Ancient Pema Raka Bead with Crystalline Zone - 34 mm
Ancient Pema Raka Bead with Crystalline Zone - 34 mm
Our Price: £310.00

A lovely looking Pema Raka of rare appearance with a strong crystalline zone in the centre.

This bead has remained in a private collection since the 1980s.
Condition: Mostly good with weathering commensurate with age and surface corrosion on
one side from long time burial.
Prized in Tibet and the Himalayan Regions
34 mm x 17 mm
1000 years +
Ancient Pema Raka Bead - 38 mm
Ancient Pema Raka Bead - 38 mm
Our Price: £280.00

An impressive ancient Pema Raka. This bead is in lovely condition and is worn smooth from being worn for many centuries.

This bead has remained in a private collection since the 1980s.
Condition: Mostly very good with minor weathering commensurate with age.
Prized in Tibet and the Himalayan Regions
38 mm x 22 mm
1000 years + or -
Antique Pema Raka
3 Antique Pema Raka
Our Price: £150.00

Three Pema Raka carnelian beads with weathering commensurate with age. You will receive the exact beads shown.

approx 18 to 19 mm
Prized in Tibet and the Himalayan regions
300 years to ancient
Condition: Good robust beads with some weathering and surface fissures that is common with these beads.
Antique Pema Raka
Antique Pema Raka
Our Price: £70.00

A wonderful Pema Raka carnelian bead with fine usage patina.

21 mm x 15 mm
Prized in Tibet and the Himalayan regions
300 years to ancient
Condition: Good with some weathering and surface fissures
Ancient Pema Raka
Ancient Pema Raka

SOLD!

A wonderful Pema Raka carnelian bead with fine usage patina and perfect colour.

20 mm x 9 mm
Prized in Tibet and the Himalayan regions
Condition: Very good.
Antique Pema Raka
3 Antique Pema Raka

SOLD!

Three Pema Raka carnelian beads with weathering commensurate with age. You will receive the exact beads shown. One of the beads displays a very rare natural eye.

longest 24 mm
smallest 22.5 mm
Prized in Tibet and the Himalayan regions
300 years to ancient
Condition: Good robust beads with some weathering and surface fissures that is common with these beads.
Antique Pema Raka
Huge Antique Pema Raka

SOLD!

An incredibly large antique Pema Raka carnelian bead with weathering commensurate with age. The 1st photo shows a round bead that is 10 mm in size for comparison. Pema Raka are prized in Tibet for personal adornment and as a medicinal ingredient.

59 mm to 39 mm
300 years to ancient
Condition: A good robust bead with some weathering and a wonderful usage patina.