This vintage, oval shaped carnelian intaglio made in Afghanistan is set in a pendant of 18 carat gold. Their workmanship in both the gold and the intaglio is a delight. Carved into the carnelian is a horse which has been deeply etched to prance, with it’s tail swirling in the air above it. The horse is an emblem of beauty, speed, nobility and freedom. Around the oval intaglio the gold has been etched and additionally made with a rope motif. On the reverse side, which one can wear alternatively to the intaglio, the gold has been embossed with a giraffe gently bending to graze in a leafy field. The pendant is 1 ¾ “ long by 1 inch high and 13 mm. deep.
The contrast of the deep carnelian (like the colour of burnt light molasses), to the green of emerald, makes a wonderful combination. The pendant hangs on a double strand of natural, faceted Columbian emeralds, which are graduated in size, from 7 mm down to 2.5 mm. I have chosen emeralds that are less intense than the stronger green emeralds because it makes a softer contrast to the pendant but still creates a dazzling punch.
Vintage 18 carat, etched gold beads from Afghanistan are interspersed among the emeralds. The two at the centre and at the end of the necklace are 7.5 mm., and the two further up the necklace are 6.3 mm. These vintage gold beads are made in the traditional Afghan technique. . The Afghani have been crafting gold for centuries. When Alexander the Great came to Afghanistan, his people brought many skills, one of which was working in gold. Like the Romans, centuries later, a yellow, 18 ct gold was used. But one of the techniques was to take sheet gold and work it onto hardened resin and then decorate it accordingly.
And that is how these vintage Afghan gold beads have been made. For me, this handiwork and yellow gold colour gives the necklace warmth and character and complements the gems.
I have used a 14 carat gold toggle clasp. I always prefer using toggle clasps because they are easy to use and quite secure.
The necklace is 19 ¾” long with a 1 inch pendant drop.
The necklace comes, like all my necklaces, with it's own silk brocaded pouch bag, made by the Shanghai tailor.
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Unique, stunningly chic gemstone necklaces, known as wearable art
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