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An Egyptian Carnelian Bead set as a pendant, Middle Kingdom, ca. 2017 - 1750 BCE

C1911

With its graduating matrix, pale orange bands and blood-red inclusions, this carnelian bead is just superb!   Hand-carved and polished over 4000 years ago by the ancient Egyptians, it is passionate but soothing, fiery and protective, mystical and metaphorical.

Carnelian crystals were immensely popular in Greek and Roman times, originating from deposits in the Arabian Peninsula and India. Like the Egyptians and the Greeks, the Romans believed carnelian was endowed with magical powers; it caused the blood to circulate smoothly throughout the body, made the skin healthy and youthful and was capable of warding off evil. Once considered strictly the property of the noble class, Romans of high social status were often buried with this gemstone. Ancient warriors wore carnelian for courage and physical power to conquer their enemies. Since wearing carnelian also makes one feel peaceful and slow to anger, it was often worn by orators to achieve serenity before and during speeches. It is theorized that the color orange is the harmonious balance of passionate, creative red and bright, cheerful yellow, making it particularly soothing to wear.

Set as a pendant on a 16" sterling silver chain.

Condition:  Expected signs of wear that do not detract, intact and in very good condition overall.  A lovely example.

Provenance:  Private English collection, acquired in the 1960s and then by descent.


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