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Short Necklace of Ancient Tabular Agate Beads and Tabular Gold Beads (2)




Agate, 20k gold


The necklace is 16 ¼ inches (41.3 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 22.7 gm.







A necklace of twenty-three ancient tabular agate beads of circular, rectangular and trapezoidal shapes that alternate with twenty tabular 20k gold oval shaped discs. There are two gold tubes 5 mm in length at the back of the necklace between the last two agate 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 1.1 cm in width. The smallest is 4 mm in length and 4.5 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 center agate bead is 1.48 cm in length, 1.1 cm in width at the center and 7.5 mm in width at the ends. The bead is 4 mm in thickness. The drill hole diameter is 3 mm. The two beads to either side of the center bead are both oval in shape, 7mm in length and 1.1 cm in width. The beads are 4mm and 5 mm in thickness and the drill hole diameters are 3 mm. These three center beads as well as the carnelian bead (the sixth from the center bead on the left side of the photograph) are all from the earliest period and are over four thousand years old. The remaining beads in the necklace are from around two thousand years ago; the drill holes of these beads are 1mm - 2mm in diameter, the smaller diameter being the result of the changes that occurred in the drilling technique over time. Small clear glass seed beads have been used to fill the holes in the three center beads allowing them to hang properly when strung into a necklace. There have been small gold tubes inserted into three of the trapezoidal shaped quartz beads to remedy chips around the edge of the perforation, allowing the beads to hang straight on the cord when strung into the necklace. One of these can be seen at the extreme top left in the photograph. There is some whitening on the surface of some of the beads that is the result of burial in alkaline soil. An example can be seen at the top left of the photograph (the square shaped bead). The necklace is visually unified by the alternating of the different shapes of stone beads with the “winged disc” tabular gold beads. The ancient counterparts for these beads come from over four thousand years ago; the two stone beads on either side of the center bead, which are from this time are of the same shape.