Four Thousand Year Old Agate Barrel Beads with Complex Gold Spacers (3)
Agate, 20k gold
The necklace is 21 ½ inches (54.6 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 55.5 gm.
A necklace of nineteen tapered agate barrel beads alternating with collared gold beads made of granules stacked in five rings of increasing and decreasing size to form biconical granulated beads. Gold beading tips are composed of rings of grains to which is attached a circlet of flattened wire, linked to the hook and eye clasp. The agate beads are Bronze Age beads from present day Afghanistan. The beads with large drill holes (3 mm)are the earliest and were made about four thousand years ago. Beads with drill holes of 2.0 – 2.6 mm tend to have a rounder profile with the end dimensions being smaller. These are not quite as old but the dating is uncertain. There are eighteen gold beads made of five rings of ten granules each made in three different sizes. They are stacked with the largest in the center forming a biconical shape. There are plain wire borders at end ends of the beads. The beading tips are made by using the wire border and the first two rings of grains to make a cup like structure which hides the knot of the string inside it. Two circlets of flattened gold wire are attached to the open ends at the edges. The hook and eye clasp link into this loop. The hook is flattened at the end and rolled up to make a lip upon which there is a row of five granules. The eye portion of the clasp is made from flattened wire and is elongated; the round loop that attaches to the beading tip is rotated ninety degrees from the other half of the eye so that the clasp will lay flat on the neck.