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Ancient Garnet Bead Necklace with Fine Silver Beads and Clasp


Swat Valley


Garnet, Silver


The necklace is 19 inches (49.5 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 58.8 gm.







A necklace of fifty-five ancient garnet beads with twenty-six granulated silver beads and a matching silver clasp and beading tips. The central bead is a faceted garnet with twelve sides 1.7 cm in length, 1.1 cm in width and with a drill hole diameter of 2.3 mm. To either side is a silver granulated bead composed of three layers: the center layer is made of five granules in a ring and the outer layers are five smaller grains also in a circular arrangement, all three layers have been fused together to form the bead. There are groups of three spherical garnet beads alternating with a larger garnet bead that is faced on either side by a pair of the silver beads. The fourteen groups of three beads graduate in size towards the back of the necklace. The beads are slightly oblate: The length is 6 mm, the width is 7 mm and the drill hole diameter is 2 mm. At the back of the necklace, the smallest of the groups of three beads is 4.5 mm in length and 5 mm in width. The larger round beads that are faced with silver beads are 1 cm in length, and 1.04 cm in width. There are eight such beads in the necklace; the smallest at the back of the necklace is 7.5 mm in length and 8mm in width. To the back half of the necklace, these round beads alternate with four faceted garnets; two are similar to the center bead, with a four sided rectangular center and four sided end zones composed of four triangular faces. The remaining two faceted beads are shorter and one is five sided with two zones instead of three. The beads come from the Swat Valley area in what is now northern Pakistan. Garnet is a hard but brittle stone subject to surface damage from impacts that leaves very small chips and pits. These beads show such wear but they have not lost the high polish and shiny surface that makes them so appealing. The beads are at least two thousand years old and the larger beads may be much older.