This string of banded agate beads is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry. The beads were sold to me as “ancient” agates from Afghanistan, but they seem too glossy and perfect to be that old. Still, I have no doubt that they are antiques. I have never seen such delectable agates in the markets for contemporary beads. I suspect that they were cut in Idar-Oberstein (Germany) in the last century or two from very fine material. Some of the beads have a pleasing amber translucence.
I made up this necklace with care, using lapis lazuli, gold, and a 14K gold clasp. My model was the jewelry of Queen Puabi from the royal tombs at Ur in Mesopotamia. Puabi was buried with many strands of delicate cylindrical beads spaced with lapis and gold, though most of her beads were carnelian rather than banded brown agate. (She was also buried with 52 serving women, who were apparently killed so they could accompany her into the next world.)
Ah, another beautiful one! Love your necklaces!
Thanks Esther! This one is a favorite.
Elyse Reine said:
I have come to like agate, years ago I purchased a ring from the designer Steven Dweck, he only black agate. That was my first intro to the stone, since I have learned the beauty if the varied colors. Your necklace is magnificent!
Many thanks! I agree, agate is an amazing stone and one of the most beautiful of gems. Best of it is is relatively inexpensive.
Love this, queen Puabi sounds worth a look into.
My mum had a lot of what she called her ‘Scottish pebbles’ , brooches and such. They fascinated me as a child, now my sisters and I have our own ‘Highland jewels’, I find them satisfying and more alive than the so called precious stones.
Oh yes, the Scottish agates are famous! I agree, I value my agates more than my “precious” gems. They have personality!
Gorgeous. I really like “costume jewellery” and have a good few pieces, but somehow I never wear it at all, apart from dangly earrings…
That ancient queen is very interesting, and her cape is stunning!
Thanks! I wish I could wear earrings, but my ears are too sensitive. Even high karat gold makes them puffy and itchy. So, I stick to necklaces, bracelets and the occasional cocktail ring.
That beaded cape is indeed stunning, but it would have been heavy to wear. I wonder if it was made for her funeral, or if she wore it on state occasions?
Sylvie G said:
There is a lot of talent in your jewels, I am impressed
Thank you! It’s a very satisfying form of self-expression.
Sylvie G said:
I am sure it is, given one has got the skills, as you seem to have
Lisa @ cheergerm said:
Really lovely, you are one talented chick. Feeling grateful not to have been born a serving girl in Mesopotamia, way back when. Amazing beaded Cape and headdress indeed.
Thanks Lisa! Yep, they did some weird things way back then, but when I read the news I’m not sure that much has changed.
I love your idea of modeling the jewelry after something ancient. I usually run around grabbing things at the gem show and then I throw things together slapdash. Maybe I’ll try a new method this year.
BTW, do you know how to do those little knots between pearls? I’m sure there has to be a proper method…otherwise it’s just the most frustrating thing in the world and only the most patient people can do it.
Yes, I have done a few knotted strands. They are hard work, but worth it. It takes a lot of practice and the right weight of string. Also the right kind, because heavy beads can stretch the string and you end up with gaps.
Kudos to you! I don’t think I have that kind of patience. I’d end up throwing things.
Yes, it’s frustrating. Mostly I stuck to wire for stringing beads–it’s very easy by comparison.
The beads are beautiful! The queen’s as well as yours ☺I love Scottish agates too but generally also all Celtic jewellery ☺feels as if you create bonds across time. Pity about the earrings. . They are my favourites especially the dangly ones with stones ☺
Yes, I used to love wearing dangly earrings. I had a pair of silver lizards 🙂