An Egyptian Lapis Ball Bead set as a pendant, Third Intermediate Period, ca. 1069 - 945 BCE
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This is a rare example of the most prized of gemstones, lapis lazuli. During the Middle Kingdom, hard stone beads of lapis lazuli and carnelian were the most prevalent, both prized for their rarity and allure, and treasured for their matchless beauty, mystical power, symbolism, and worth. The varying proportions of minerals that make up the complex nature of lapis lazuli determine its depth of color.
The ancient Egyptians prized it highly, placing it immediately after gold and silver in lists of valuable materials. After 4000 years, this lovely bead has been strung once more for wearing as a pendant necklace with a modern, silver chain.
For related ball bead examples see, British Museum accession number: EA3084Medium: Lapis Lazuli
Dimensions: Bead length: 1 cm (0.39 inches). Strung on a 20-inch silver chain
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall.
Provenance: John Winnie private collection, Georgia, assembled in early 1980s, thereafter private NY collection.