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Ancient Banded Black Agate and Silver Beads


Swat Valley


Agate, Silver


The necklace is 22 inches (58 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 28 gm.







A necklace of ninety banded black and white agate beads, seventeen of which are barrel shaped and seventy-three of which are round. The barrel shaped beads are each faced with granulated silver beads; there are thirty-four of these silver beads. The beading tips and hook and eye clasp are also fine (999) silver. The largest barrel bead in the center of the necklace is 1.08cm in length, 7mm in width at the widest part, and 4mm wide at the ends. The bead is slightly flattened in shape. The width on the flattened side at the center is 5.5 mm. The drill hole diameter is 1.5mm. The barrel beads graduate in size towards the back. The smallest pair at the back are 5mm 6mm in length, 4mm in width and have hole 1mm in diameter. The round beads at the center are 7mm in width and length, with the drill hole diameter being 2mm. The round beads graduate in size towards the back of the necklace. The smallest round beads are 4mm in diameter with drill holes of 1mm in diameter. Most of the agate beads are black with white banding but some are a dark brown color with white banding. The necklace is structured so that every fifth bead is a barrel bead. These have been faced with a pair of granulated silver beads to visually accent the difference in shape from the round beads. The beads come from the Swat Valley area of northern Pakistan. They were made about two thousand years ago. They are identical to beads found in India dating from the Kushan Period and were probably made in ancient India.