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Short Necklace of Ancient Tabular Agate Beads and Tabular Gold Beads




Agate, 20k gold


The necklace is 15 ¼ inches (38.7 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 19 gm.







A necklace of twenty-three tabular agate beads, agate beads of trapezoidal shape, rectangular shape, ovals and circles and a bow bead in the center, alternating with twenty-two tabular 20k gold beads. The tabular gold beads graduate in size from the front of the necklace to the back. The largest is 8 mm in length, and 1 cm in width. The smallest is 4.5 mm in length and 5.5 mm in width. The beads are made by fusing two oval shaped thin gold sheets that have a ridge running down the center. When the two pieces are joined, this results in a hollow channel through which the bead can be strung. The “winged disc” was developed in the archaic period and uses the same reduction soldering technique to fuse the gold as was used in making the decorative granulation. The center bead of the necklace is from this same time; it is four thousand years old: The diameter of the drill hole is 2.3 mm, indicative of the Bronze Age. The bead is 1.7 cm in length, 1.15cm in width at the center, and 9 mm wide at the ends. The bead is 5 mm in thickness. The banding in the stone has been utilized in the design of the bead so that the curving bands of the layers in the stone are mimicked by the curve of the lower edge of the bow bead. Another very early bead is the second bead from the center on the right in the photograph above. It is a quartz bead with a diagonal brown stripe. The bead is 1.18 cm in length, 1.05 cm in width at the center and 5.8 mm wide at the ends which are ground flat for the perforation. The bead has a thickness of 5 mm and the diameter of the drill hole is 3 mm. Another early bead is the the fifth bead to the right of center. It is a milky translucent quartz and is 1.28 cm in length, 9 mm in width at the center and 6 mm in width at the ends. The diameter of the drill hole is 3.2 mm. These three beads with large perforations have been strung with clear glass seed beads inside the holes so that the beads will hang straight on the string. The remaining stone beads in the necklace have drill hole diameters of 1 mm – 1.5 mm; these are typical of beads from around two thousand years ago. The necklace is visually unified by the regular alteration of the gold beads with the various shapes of the agate beads. The necklace is short, lightweight and delicate.