Ancient Half Milky Quartz and Clear Quartz Trapezoidal Tabular Beads with Gold
Agate, 20k gold
The necklace is 20 ¼ inches (51.4 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 21.8 gm.
A necklace of twenty-seven quartz rhomboid tabular beads alternating with 20k gold “winged “ disc tabular beads. Gold beading tips and a hook and eye clasp complete the necklace. The winged discs are 7.5 mm in length and 9.2 mm in width in the center and graduate to the back decreasing in size to 5 mm in length and 7 mm in width. The flat agate beads are Bronze Age from present day Afghanistan and have a consistent form: they are either a symmetrical rhombus – a diamond shape- or an elongated rhombus with one end up to 50% longer. They are almost always bisected across the points with one side being opaque white and the other end being transparent quartz. When one end is elongated, it is the transparent end. If the bead is an agate with carnelian and clear transparent quartz, again, it is the elongated end that is transparent. This is clearly an intentional effect with some kind of symbolic referent and meaning, but it is lost to us in time. Although these beads have sometimes been referred to as “butterfly” beads, it seems doubtful to us that this is the meaning. The beads are about four thousand years old. Beads of this form were also present in ancient Mesopotamia.