Carneol necklace

Roman Empire
2nd century CE
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General Description

As far as Roman jewelry is concerned, the 2nd century not well-represented, except for a few finds from the provincial areas of the Roman world. This necklace is a rare example, composed of 28 graduated polygonal carnelian beads in different shades of reddish brown. They are arranged in a diminishing order and alternate with small reels made from dark brown pasta vitrea (opaque colored glass). Beads cut into this polygonal shape were were very popular from the 2nd century CE onward, and were thought to enhance the natural beauty of the stone.

Adapted from

Barbara Deppert-Lippitz, Ancient Gold Jewelry at the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art in association with the University of Washington Press, 1996), 108-09; 144.