Ancient Lapis Lazuli Barrel Beads Encircled with Gold Bands and Ancient Carnelian Beads
Carnelian, Lapis Lazuli, 20k gold
The necklace is 24 ¾ inches (63cm) in length. The necklace weighs 22gm.
A necklace of twenty-six lapis lazuli cylindrical shaped beads, each with a band of 20k gold encircling it at the center, alternating with twenty-seven barrel-shaped carnelian beads. The lapis lazuli beads graduate in size towards the back of the necklace. The center bead is 2.4cm in length, 5mm in width and has a drill hole diameter of 1.5mm. The width of the gold band is 8mm; it occupies the middle third of the bead. The smallest lapis lazuli bead at the back of the necklace is 1.55 cm in length, 3.5 mm in width and has a drill hole diameter of 1.8mm. The width of the gold band is 4mm. The carnelian beads are short barrel-shaped beads. The largest at the center is 5.5mm in length, 4mm in width and has a drill hole diameter of 1mm. The carnelian beads graduate in size towards the back. The smallest if 4.5mm in length, 3.5mm in width and has a drill hole diameter of 1mm. As has been noted, the combination of lapis lazuli, carnelian and gold was popular in ancient Mesopotamia since four thousand years ago. Under the Third Dynasty of Ur, agates were particularly popular and were often embellished with gold caps. Lapis lazuli was also highly favored and frequently appeared in combination with carnelian and gold. In this necklace, the lapis lazuli beads have been fitted with “belts” instead of end caps. The gold bands are very thin which allows an economical way to incorporate gold into the necklace to maximum effect.