Ancient Turquoise, Lapis, and Carnelian Necklace with Bifucated Carnelian Pendant
Carnelian, Lapis Lazuli, Turquoise, 22k gold
The necklace is 24 inches (60.2 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 17.6gm
A necklace of lapis lazuli, turquoise and carnelian beads with 22k gold granulated ring beads and a carnelian pendant bead at the center. The pendant is 1.55 cm in height, 9mm in width at the widest point and 5.5mm thick. There is a groove extending from the top center down the front to the notch between the two lobes at the bottom. The back side is similarly grooved. The symbolic meaning of the pendant is unknown; the form is reminiscent of an insect, perhaps a moth or beetle with wings folded. We know that insects were used for symbolic expression in ancient Egypt: the dung beetle rolling its sphere of dung in front of it was associated with the power that caused the sun to move across the sky. Hence the scarab was used as an amulet to evoke this power. They also used the fly as the image of quickness and tenacity, and gold fly pendants were awarded to generals by the Pharaoh for valor and success in battle. The twenty six carnelian beads are four sided with pairs of opposite triangular faces. They range in length from 7mm to 4.5mm. The width is 6mm to 4.5mm with drill hold diameters of 1.5mm. There are also twenty-six barrel shaped lapis lazuli beads which alternate with the carnelian beads. They graduate in size from 5.5mm to 3.8mm in length and 4mm in width to 3mm. Between each of the carnelian and lapis beads are groups of two turquoise disc beads with a granulated gold ring bead separating the two. The one hundred eight turquoise beads are 3mm in width and 2mm-3mm in length. There are fifty-four granulated ring beads of 22k gold. The beading tips and hook and eye clasp are also 22k gold. The beads are two thousand years old and come from the Swat Valley area in northern Pakistan.