AUD $220.00
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Antique Red Coral & Silver Necklace.

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A subtle blend of Antique Red Coral beads, in many shades of orange and coral, some very gently coloured.

Sourced some years back in Pakistan and Afghanistan, most will have originated in the Persian Gulf or further a field. (see Our Blog on Red Coral.)
We were lucky to get them, having been retrieved in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, some even from Ladakh. (The narrow, deep red barrels are often from Ladakhi “perak” headresses.)

I’ve threaded them with two styles of Antique Indian Silver beads, collected in the 70’s, as well as an old Edwardian “Raj” silver “two annas” coin, featuring “Edward VII, King and Emperor” with the date 1905.
This coin after use as money, has then been mounted with a silverloop, to be used as a unit, in a piece of Tribal Jewellery. After those lifetimes, here it is up and brushed off, ready for another reincarnation.
Because of their age I’ve tried not to over polish them, as I would only be removing their patina and character.

We particularly like the subtle colour variations, the “abrash” that you see in Tribal weavings, that add character and vitality to either a colour field or a string of beads.
I try not to over organise them grading only by diameter, but hoping to retain and enhance those minor differences that give Old Red Coral its charm.

Our general rule of thumb is that paler, more matte or textured stones are more weathered and therefore older, whilst shinier, more brightly coloured ones tend to be younger.
Yes it seems too, that genuine Red Coral fades and mellows eventually, not like modern dyed “bamboo coral” which fades quickly and isn’t stable.

When threading I usually remove any beads that have worn out and have become too fragile.

This is because with continuous wear the thread rubs inside the Coral, which is relatively soft.
The thread wears a groove and the stone then hangs with the thread in the groove making it gradually deeper, this results in a slightly lopsided bead hanging to one side.
Picking through these I put the worst aside, but retain the others to add variety to the string, bland uniformity is not what we’re aiming for.

But don’t be rough with them they’ve been traded, valued and worn for many years, in some cases many decades, so are due a bit of respect.

Designed to be worn short around about the collar bone to show off its simplicity.
For practicality I’ve mixed in handmade sterling silver beads from Indonesia and Thailand, these will be a little shinier, but will tone down with wear.
Gently use a dry cotton cloth first, if you want it shinier then gently use a dry “silver polishing cloth” on them, when you feel you need to.

For strength I’ve specifically used Tiger Tail, to thread them.
This is a multi stranded stainless steel wire, perfect, but capable of kinking if mistreated
so don’t scrunch it or it WILL kink.

I tend to deliberately thread a litle tight to compensate for the inevitable stretching that eventually occurs during normal wear.
Also, you may notice in the photos, that the beads are a bit “higgledy-piggledy” but with wear the beads settle down, sort themselves out and sit better.
Much better on, than when newly made as in the photo.

Don’t pull on it as this will increase the stretch unnecessarily.
I reccommend you close your eyes to undo necklaces,
DON’T drag them round the throat to where you can see them!
That’s how you stretch them.

Age: Late 19th/Early 20th Century

Size: L 480 mm, including clasp.

Weight: 23 grams.