Ancient Agate Beads with Crescent Agate Center and Gold
Agate, 20k gold
The necklace is 17 ½ inches (44.5 cm) in length,. The necklaced weighs 74.1 gm.
A necklace of eight agate barrel-shaped beads with a crescent shaped center bead, alternating with 20k gold beads. The center bead is 4.35 cm in length (from tip to tip), 2.22cm in width at the center and 8mm in thickness. The drill hole diameter is 3.3mm. The barrel-shaped agate bead to the left of the center bead is 3.95 cm in length, 1.2cm in width at the center and 6mm in width at the ends. The drill hole diameter is 3mm. The next agate barrel bead is 3.65cm in length, 1.25 cm in width at the center and 7mm in width at the ends. The drill hole diameter is 4.1mm. The third bead from the center is 3 cm in length, 1.1 cm in width at the center and 6.3mm in width at the ends. The drill hole diameter is 3.5mm. The final bead on the left side of the necklace is 1.8 cm in length, 9mm in width at the ends and has a drill hole diameter of 2mm. On the right side of the necklace, the first bead from the center is 3.85cm in length, 1.3cm in width at the center and 6mm in width at the ends. The drill hole diameter is 4.5 mm. The second bead is 3.7 cm in length, 1.3 cm in width at the center and 6.8mm in width at the ends. The drill hole diameter is 4mm. The third barrel bead is 3.05 cm in length, 1.1cm in width at the center and 6mm in width at the ends. The drill hole diameter is 3.5mm. The final barrel shaped bed is 1.55cm in length, 9.5mm in width at the center, and 6.5 mm in width at the ends. The drill hole diameter is 3.5mm. The gold beads are 20k and made in an archaic style with raised ribs. The beading tips and clasp are also 20k gold and match the beads. The stone beads are all early Bronze Age. The carnelian bead on the left side at the back may be somewhat later, based on the smaller diameter drill hole. The large perforations,(over 3mm), and the bi conical shapes of the agate beads are all characteristics of beads produced by the Indus Valley civilization from 4,000 years ago. The center bead is very unusual because of the crescent shape. It is very similar to the flat lenticular beads from what is now Afghanistan from the same time period, except for the shape. The crescent shape seems very likely to symbolize the moon. This would be a Mesopotamian motif, associated with the goddess Ishtar. This necklace utilizes the barrel-shaped beads of the Indus civilization and the flat agate bead typical (except for its shape) of the contemporaneous civilization in what is now Afghanistan, to make a Mesopotamian moon amulet necklace. The ancient Sumerians did import beads from the Indus Valley as well as lapis lazuli and agate from Afghanistan. The beads have been carefully selected for their size, shape, color, and age and the gold beads have been custom made to harmonize with the stone beads.