This category features ancient Phum dZi (say it like Püm with the H being silent). These beads are typically decorated with a longevity or net design. The word Phum probably derives from the Tibetan word for vase, which may also be spelt Bhüm (as in Bhümpa).
A ritual vase (Tibetan: gtso-bum) is used to confer Vajrayana empowerments and represents the mandala of the deity. The long life or nectar vase (Tibetan: tshe bum) is believed to bestow longevity. Phum dZi are usually fat beads with a grey to black base colour. They can also vary greatly in quality and size and the decoration is often heavily rubbed. Many Tibetans believe they are the oldest of all the dZi beads found in Tibet. Some rare types of Phum dZi may even include eyes and other motifs.
Phum dZi are not to be confused with the smaller black and white longevity agates.