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  • August 28, 2018 3 min read

    Two main reasons:

    • It may crack your beads
    • It loses the shiny reflection appearance.

    Read on to find out more.

    Testing sinking agarwood beads? 

    Everyone loves sinking agarwood beads, the darker, the better right? Who else does not? It is very tempted to submerge your bracelet or 108 mala agarwood beads underwater to test its "sinking"  quality. However, are you aware that by doing so will damage your beads if not done correctly?

    What to test?

    Let's go back to the basics; what are the real reasons for buying these beads? Most people would collect them; some wear them to attract luck; others are for Feng Shui reasons.

    People usually exam agarwood beads by their scent and appearance. Although to appreciate oud scent, it is better to heat oud chips or apply oud oil on your arms, wrists, behind ears or your clothes. Anyway, agarwood beads do contain some oud scent, but it could only be as good as oud chips at room temperature.

    Appearance: the darker, the heavier, the better. If it were solid black, the chances of counterfeit would be high.  However, let's quickly discuss how these beads are made

    Below is  the material, unfortunately, with agarwood beads you can't pick and choose and agarwood chips

    An agarwood bead is generally in a sphere shape which was made from agarwood cube (or rectangular prism) like the one below.

    You can see, agarwood beads are containing more resin than others. It is challenging to only "cube" out the most resinous parts only.

    So back to the question: should you test your agarwood beads underwater to find out if they are sinking quality?

    Yes, you can, but you need to know how to do it properly. Here are the steps (try it as your risks)

    1. Get a soft cloth or towel ready.
    2. Get a jug of water, preferably tall glass.
    3. Drop your beads into the glass
    4. Watch if it sinks slowly or fast, within 30 seconds, the shorter, the better
    5. They the mala or bracelet out of the jug and dry it immediately with your soft clothes, you will notice a beautiful smell from the agarwood beads, very noticeable. This works with wood chips too, smell better right after submerged underwater.
    6. Let's it dry but keep polishing these beads with your soft cloth gently, watch out for crack as water will expand the wood and eventually crack the beads.

    So why so much hassle? Is there another safer way to test?

    Yes, unfortunately, it is not on your hand but the hunters, and again it comes down to trust. Testing the material, agarwood logs, is safer than the beads

    If the agarwood logs are sinking, chances are the beads would be sinking. It does not matter of the agarwood logs cracked, as it would be fixed during the beads making process.

    What does it look like when agarwood beads submerged into water for so long?

     Please see below; this is an expensive experience. Please do not try it at home. After 3 minutes of submerging,

    • the agarwood beads expanded unevenly causing cracks; the shiny reflection is lost,
    • wood warping occurred, beads deformed

    grandawood agarwood beads raw images

    These beads are excellent in quality, at least half sinking, look at the weight without string: above 27 g which is very decent.


    So how do we fix these cracking beads?

     We can't; it is what it is. It happened as the consequence of long submerging underwater. It cracked, so we decided to break the beads open to show you what it looks like

    Are you curious to see what inside a half bead? Yes, you are, we know it. We do you a big favour too, see below the enlargement of agarwood beads: can you see the resin and resin duct? Sure, you can!


    What do you do about those agarwood beads which lose the shiny reflection?



    These beads will be cotton polished again with the beads making the machine to restore the look. This practice is usual and known as polishing. It can be done with a cotton cloth or sandpaper. 




     Yeah, the reflection comes back, see the light?


    So in short, please do not try to submerge your agarwood beads underwater without proper preparation as it can seriously damage or ruin your beads.

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