Necklace of Lapis Lazuli, Antique Indian Silver and A Large Berber Pendant


This necklace features a large Berber silver and lapis pendant.  The silver has a pleasant old patina and features a range of amulet carvings.  There is exquisite detail around the large inset lapis cabochon in the center.  The necklace is approximately 21" long without the pendant. The pendant adds 75 mm in length. The pendant is made of old silver and a large lapis inset.  It is about 75mm along the diagonals, the side of teh square is about 50mm The exact silver content is unknown. The carved ancient-style matte lapis lazuli beads come from Afghanistan and range from 8mm to about 20mm long.  The bicone sterling silver beads are from India. The S-hook old-style clasp is sterling silver.

About Lapis Lazuli:

Lapis lazuli is a composite rock containing lazurite, calcite, pyrite, and a number of other minerals in varying quantities. The ancients called it sapphire for the blue color not to confuse it with the modern sapphire which is a different gem). It also was known as Ultramarinum (beyond the sea), when it was first introduced to Europe.

Since antiquity, the main source of Lapis Lazuli was ancient Bactria (now Afghanistan), where ancient mines are still producing the world supplies of this beautiful stone. It was used in religious objects, and amulets as well as in pigments and paints since Neolithic times. Jewelry made of lapis lazuli has been found in prehistoric tombs across Asia, Africa, and Europe. Ancient Sumerians believed it was a royal stone, and through the centuries its “royal blue” color has been associated with royalty. It is said that the breastplate of the Jewish High Priest Aaron included the stone lapis (although referred to as sapphire). Ancient Egyptians loved it in jewelry and amulets, they also appear to be the first to use powdered lapis lazuli in makeup. Lapis Lazuli is found in many Egyptian royal tombs, including that of Tutankhamun.

Its timeless beauty keeps it a favorite in modern times as well. Lapis lazuli is the Traditional birthstone for December and the accepted gem for the seventh and ninth wedding anniversaries. It is the Planetary stone for Capricorn and the Zodiac stone for Libra.