Ethnic Jewels

An appreciation of ethnic jewellery and adornment

A large and heavy lapis and sodalite beaded necklace with silver fire gilded bead. Main pendant measures over 5 inches in diameter and 3 inches long. I think this is Afghan, but from which area, I don't know.

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Comment by Thelma on April 11, 2017 at 19:56

Hello Laura. This lapis is a lovely luminous blue and I too think it is a contemporary piece, probably made in Afghanistan. The main lapis mines are in Badakhshan province... they have been there for thousands of years. I was interested in Edith's comments... just to add to it. I read in the Times (London) a couple of weeks ago that the Taliban had recently taken over these mines from the local warlords... who themselves had taken them over from the company which won the original contract from the government. The mines provide a very large source of income to those who control them.

Comment by LauraRamsay on April 11, 2017 at 14:57

Thank you both for your comments. Most interesting.

Comment by Edith D on April 11, 2017 at 3:25
This is a pretty necklace, even if new. I am all in favor of supporting new jewelry artists. They are making the "Ethnic Jewels" for future generations!
Comment by Edith D on April 11, 2017 at 3:23
The major source for lapis lazuli is still Afghanistan and Pakistan, although smaller quantities are now found in Russia, Chile, Italy and North America. Afghanistan is generally thought by most scholars to be the only ancient source, where it was exploited since Neolithic times (see "Archaeomineralogy" by Rapp). Recently I have seen reports that lapis lazuli mines are currently controlled by Afghani war lords, which is a disturbing development!
Comment by Cordelia Donohoe on April 10, 2017 at 16:59

Well there is lapis  mined in Afghanistan and many necklaces and other pieces are made there for the export market, so it may well come from there. Ive just never seen a traditional jewel like that from those regions, perhaps another member may prove me wrong, but nevertheless it is a spendid piece.

Comment by LauraRamsay on April 10, 2017 at 16:05

Yes, I agree Cordelia. Do you have any other thoughts about it? Perhaps it's not Afghan at all, although I was given to understand it was when I acquired it 20 years ago.

Comment by Cordelia Donohoe on April 10, 2017 at 15:53

Hi Laura, it doesnt look to me like a traditional jewel, but with some elements. 



Created by Cordelia Donohoe Apr 10, 2017 at 4:03pm. Last updated by Cordelia Donohoe Apr 17, 2017.

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