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Ancient Carnelian Center Drilled Spars with 22k Gold Tube Beads


Swat Valley


Carnelian, 22k gold


The necklace is 18 ˝ inches (47 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 15.5 gm.







A necklace of fifty-five carnelian beads alternating with fifty-four 22k gold tube beads. Fifty-three of the carnelian beads are of an unusual form being long spar shapes pointed on each end and drilled through the middle. The width at the middle where the hole goes through is 3mm on the largest beads in the center of the necklace and 2mm at the back. The longest “spars” are 1.3 cm in height and the smallest is 6mm. The drill holes are small, 1.5mm-2mm in diameter. There are two very small carnelian beads (2mm) at the back of the necklace between the last gold tube bead and the beading tips. The gold tubes are 2mm in width and 5mm in length. The beading tips and hook and eye clasp are 22k gold. The carnelian “spars” are well matched for size and color. A few show some chemical staining from exposure to alkaline soil which causes some whitening. Many of the beads have very slight chipping and minor wear, especially to the pointed ends which is hardly noticeable. The graduation of size from front to back of the spars alternating with the gold tubes gives an effect of delicacy and lightness. These beads come from the Swat Valley in northern Pakistan and are around two thousand years old.