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Ancient Bead Necklace

This is a bead necklace featuring an ancient Greek glass bead, Indo-Pacific beads, finished with small vintage beads and a 14 Karat gold clasp.

The central bead is a lozenge shaped Ancient Greek Glass Bead, dated circa 200 - 31 B.C. This bead was most likely made in Hellenistic Egypt. Some beads like this are also found in the area of Afghanistan which was Bactria, the eastern-most part of the Hellenistic world. The bead has been stabilized and is protected by a 14 Kt gold sleeve in its perforation.

The coral-like glass beads are of uncertain provenance but likely the same as the small red beads from Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka and Southern India and date from 750 - 1500 A.D. They were traded from China to Africa and are called Trade Wind beads or Indo-Pacific beads.

The gold hand made beads begin in sculpting wax. A substantial amount of 24 Karat gold is added to copper, silver and/or nickel. Each small batch of beads made has a different proportion of these metals. This is close to an alloy the Romans called Electrum. They are then cast in the lost wax process, a center hole drilled, smoothed and polished, with applied finishes such as hammered, distressed or left untouched.

The small greenish glass beads are modern Japanese glass beads.


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Item code: n90


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For a detailed background on these special beads, click here.