With its soft orange matrix 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.
Although found in considerable quantities in both the Eastern Desert and Nubia, carnelian was deemed sufficiently valuable to be mentioned in ancient records alongside turquoise, silver, and lapis lazuli.
The Egyptians 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.
Set as a pendant on a 20" 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.