Medieval Ireland maintained its independence from England until after the Norman invasion in 1066, and was a major center of European culture during the early Middle Ages. The Celtic monks of the British Isles, who produced the immortal Book of Kells, preserved much of the priceless knowledge of the Roman Empire while the rest of Europe was in chaos. (And for the Scottish customer who requested that I specifically credit the Pictish monks: here it is, my Lady). I imagine this elegant pair of earrings being worn by one of the cultured Medieval Irish queens of Tara during this period.
The earrings feature sterling silver spiral 9mm. pendants, accented by the most Irish of all gems: green Connemara marble. Rare and lovely Connemara marble is found only in the west of Ireland, and is also known as the Irish national gemstone. It is becoming increasingly expensive and hard to find. The soft misty green beads are always hand-drilled, and the color always reminds me of the green moss over weathered stone that I saw on ancient structures throughout the British Isles.
The spiral sterling pendants are accented with 6mm. smooth beads of earthy green garnet (also known as demantoid or grossular garnet). The clusters are 4mm. Connemara marble beads, worked on sterling silver-filled pins with silver bead accents, a total of 22 in the pair. All are worked to sterling silver rolo chain.
They hang from sterling silver French hooks, set with a smaller spiral pattern. They measure 2 & 3/8" total, and 1 & 5/8" without the wires. They include rubber stoppers for added security.
The spiral was a very important symbol in ancient and Medieval Ireland, signifying the eternal path of the soul toward God. Spirals were found carved on rock throughout the Neolithic burial site of Newgrange in Ireland, the most important Temple of the Sun in ancient Ireland.
Perfect for Renaissance or Celtic Faires, these are also a very sumptuous and distinctly Irish Medieval pair of earrings for everyday wear. They would retail in a good historical reproduction jewelry catalog for about $95.
Wear them with a simple long dress and feel like a fabled Queen of Tara!
The last scan shows one of the Connemara marble quarries in the West of Ireland. These beads are from the famous Lissoughter quarry.
All metals are sterling silver and sterling silver-filled, and all Connemara marble and green garnet beads are genuine.
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