Tibetan Style Agate Beads
The proper name for these Tibetan style beads is "Dzi Beads." Dzi stones first appeared between 2000 and 1000 B.C. in ancient India. It is said that the first examples were brought back by Tibetan soldiers from Persia during a raid. Since knowledge of Dzi beads has been derived orally, no one is certain how these original pieces were manufactured.
Most of the Dzi beads on the US market today are considered "mock Dzi" and are produced with heat-treated agate or porcelain as their base. A combination of methods, including sanding and laser etching, create the amazing patterns you see on these beads.