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Ancient Onyx and Lapis Beads with 22k Gold


Swat Valley


Onyx, Lapis Lazuli, 22k gold


The necklace is 19 inches (49.2 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 11.4 gm.







A necklace of twenty-six very small black onyx barrel beads alternating with twenty-eight lapis lazuli cylinder beads. Between each of the stone beads is a 22k gold tube bead. At the center of the necklace is an onyx lozenge shaped bead 1.15 cm in length, 9 mm in width and 3 mm in thickness. The diameter of the drill hole is 1.8 mm. The onyx barrels are very uniform in size and shape being 5 mm in length, 3.5 mm in thickness and having drill holes of 1mm diameter. The lapis lazuli beads vary slightly in length from 9 mm 5 mm and 3 mm in thickness. The diameters of the drill holes vary from 1.3 mm to 1.8 mm. The gold tubes are 2mm in length and 2.5 mm in width. The gold beading tips and clasp are also 22k gold. The beads are probably over two thousand years old and come from the Swat Valley region in what is today northern Pakistan. The beads have some similarity to the beads from India from the first century C.E. when a nomadic tribe from Central Asia, the Kushans, formed a dynasty that ruled the area for several centuries. These beads are characterized by their delicate scale, precise shapes and careful workmanship.