A Near Eastern Gold and Agate pendant,
Achaemenid Period, ca. 550 - 330 BCE
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of high karat gold, this very pretty pendant comprises a carved, hand-polished amethyst set in a high karat gold pendant in the form of an amphora, punctuated with granules below a fitted wide gold wire suspension loop, a cluster of granules at the base. Set with a modern adjustable chain of 18K gold.
The name of this exquisite purple quartz crystal comes from the Greek word "amethystos" which literally translates as “remedy against drunkenness”. In antiquity, this stone was believed to keep the wearer sober no matter how much wine he might consume. All the great ancient civilizations valued the gem; it was particularly popular in Egypt for scarabs and in Greece and Rome for intaglio rings. Because of its wine-dark color and its use to prevent intoxication, many were carved with the head of the wine-god Dionysus. The oldest known stone in the Crown Jewels of England is an amethyst, first worn in the 11th century by Edward the Confessor. Even today, the rings of high-ranking ecclesiastics often have amethysts as their center stones. Many wonderful and therapeutic properties are ascribed to the gem: it can cure gout, cleanses the body of impurities, keeps the mind clear and alert and improves memory, it gives the wearer pleasant dreams, and keeps them immune from infection and contagious diseases.
Note: Shown in the last photo with MJ2220 which is not included.
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Pendant length: 7/8 inch (2.2 cm). Strung on an 18K gold chain adjustable up to 18 inches.
Provenance: Private east coast collection, acquired before 1979 and then by descent.