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Ancient Faceted Crystal Beads with Lapis Lazuli and Granulated Silver Spacers


Swat Valley


Rock Crystal, Lapis Lazuli, Silver


The necklace is 17 inches (45 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 34.5gm.







A necklace of eighteen rock crystal beads and forty lapis lazuli beads alternating with fifty-eight granulated silver beads. The necklace is structured so that every third stone bead is a crystal bead. There are a number of different shapes: the center bead is a six sided bi-cone shape, the smaller pair are round, the next pair are rectangular solids, there is a pair of smaller six sided bi-cones, and so on. The center bead is 1.7 cm in length, 1 cm wide at the center and 5mm wide at the ends. It is flattened: the narrow dimension at the center is 7.5mm and 4mm at the ends. The drill hole is 2.1mm. The round beads are 8mm in diameter and 5.5 -6mm in length. The longer rectangular solid is 1.1 cm in length, 9mm in width and 5.8mm in thickness. The drill hole diameter is 1.5mm. The smallest crystal beads at the back are cuboid with rounded edges which produces a lobed effect. They are 5mm wide and 4mm in length. The holes are 1mm in diameter. The lapis beads are slightly irregular flattened spheres. At the center they are 7.5mm in diameter and 5mm in length. At the back they decrease in size to 5mm in diameter and 3mm in length. Most of the drill holes are 1.5mm. The drilling technique is clearly visible in the clear crystal beads. The holes are drilled from each end to meet in the center of the bead. On some of the rectangular solids (and others in the necklace as well), it can be easily seen that the hole was drilled about 80% of the way before it was turned around and drilled from the opposite side. The granulated beads, the beading tips and the hook and eye clasp are all fine (999) silver. The crystal and lapis beads come from the Swat Valley in northern Pakistan. They are about two thousand years old.