A Persian Garnet, Gold & Crystal Necklace,
Achaemenid Period, ca. 550 - 330 BCE
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This fabulous garnet, gold, and crystal necklace features a total of fifty-nine gemstones, graduating in size, to include thirty untreated, hand-polished garnets that beautifully contrast with ten clear quartz crystal beads, two capped with gold, while the others are flanked with ancient high-carat gold beads. A central gold and garnet pendant completes this stunning piece.
Background: Throughout history, garnets have held a place in ritual symbolism. It is said that garnet was one of the twelve stones in Aaron's breastplate, representing the tribe of Judah and that King Solomon wore garnet adornments when he went into battle. Noah chose a garnet to hang in the Ark, and it illuminated his way through the floods. Perhaps this Biblical reference made garnet the stone worn by travelers and soldiers to promise them a safe return home. But even before Biblical times, garnets were worn and treasured. Garnet necklaces have been found in graves in Czechoslovakia dating back to the Bronze Age. Garnet stones have been buried with warriors and nobles in Ancient Egypt (3100 BCE), Sumeria (2100 BCE), and Sweden (2000 BCE). Plentiful throughout the world, and easily found just beneath the earth's crust, garnets were worn as jewelry among the Aztecs and Mayans, Native Americans, aboriginal Australians, and Asians. Garnets are also believed to have the power to staunch blood, offer protection and healing from poisons, and purify the liver. Since ancient times, people have believed that garnets can help spark mental acuity and clarity, lighten the mood and bring peace and solace to the grieving. Over the years, garnets have acquired the meaning of fidelity, loyalty, and love.
Condition: All beads are intact and vary from very good to excellent condition overall. The necklace has been restrung for wearing with a modern 14K solid gold clasp.
Dimensions: Length: 17.5 inches (44.45 cm)
Provenance: Private collection of Llewellyn Phillips, a physician who assembled his collection during the early 20th century. He held a number of positions while stationed in Egypt, including a professor of Medicine at the Egyptian Government School of Medicine, Cairo. Phillips was appointed the Hon. Commander of the British Red Cross Hospital in Giza during the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915. Part of his collection was sold at Christie's in 1992/93.