Hand-carved from fiery carnelian and polished to a high shine over 3500 years ago by the ancient Egyptians, this round bead emotes power, courage, healing, protection, and balance between passion and serenity.
Carnelian crystals such as this example 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 that 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. 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.
Dimensions: Bead length: 1.7 cm (0.66 inches). Strung on a 16-inch silver chain.
Condition: Some wear to the base, but intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Ex. Sotheby Parke Bernet, March 20, 1968, lot #52 (part)