This is quite a rich, elegant necklace, and yet, with the rock crystal cylinders, with crystalline inclusions, and the antique Afghan 18K gold beads, the necklace can be quite informal. I think it’s the etched, antique, 18K gold, Afghan beads, which gives it an almost ethnic feel.
These are rare, handmade beads. The oval shaped beads are 20.6 mm x 14.5 mm; the disc shaped beads are18.5 mm x 11mm; the small octagonal beads are 7.5 mm. They were made in Afghanistan, using their traditional techniques. 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 K gold was used. But one of the techniques used was to take sheet gold and work it onto hardened resin and then decorate it accordingly. For me, this handiwork and the yellow gold colour gives the necklace warmth and character and complements the gems.
But of course, the star of the necklace is that antique, Victorian, 18K gold, circular locket with the cushion shaped diamond in the centre. It has a raised, petal-like design with applied wirework. On the reverse is glazed locket panel. It is an exquisite piece, show-casing the skills of the Victorian jeweller. It was originally a brooch which I had altered to a pendant. It is 3 cm across, just under an inch and a quarter.
The rock crystal, faceted cylinders are not imperfect or cracked. They are natural stones with inclusions within, which for me, gives the stones more interest. They are 2 cm x 14.9 mm.
The clasp is a 14K gold toggle clasp. I prefer using toggle clasps because they are easy to use and quite secure. My silver name label is attached at the clasp.
The necklace comes, like all my necklaces, with its own colour co-ordinated silk brocaded pouch bag, made by a Shanghai tailor.
The necklace is 18 inches long (46 cm), with a 3 cm pendant drop.
Unique, stunningly chic gemstone necklaces, known as wearable art