AUD $880.00

Ancient Bactrian Agate Bead.

Here's a really delightful, Bactrian Agate bead, cut utilizing the natural colour bands of a milky orange and white striped agate.

The stone has layers of off whites and semi translucent/slightly milky orange agate and was very sensitively chosen and cut to place its curving bands perfectly. This bead is an ancient one from Bactria (Afghanistan/Pakistan), but would actually have been processed in the Indus Valley, one of the earliest civilisations situated in what is now Pakistan. (the stones themselves were often mined and traded from what is now India around Cambay, on the coast.)

We're now finding that this culture was a manufacturing and trading centre for stone beads, which were then traded throughout Mesopotamia, Tibet, Central and South East Asia.

With an agate like this you cut one way to get stripes or turn the stone round and cut the other way you create concentric circles. These circles are believed to be a powerful deterrent to Evil. (The Evil Eye averts its gaze when it meets a threatening eye or a mirror reflecting even its own eyes.) It is from these "natural" Eyes that the whole tradition has evolved.

The dominant colour is that of a soft milky caramel, with a rounded edge and and fine "rainbows" of white stripes. One caramel band has white flecks and the outer edge is a very pale tobacco. (Just check  the pictures to appreciate the fine patterning of this bead !) The overall surface is gently matted with many tiny knicks and scratches.

It's drilled with a hole of about 1 mm, and will take tiger tail for threading and wear, or possibly a silk thread but not a chain or choker.

This exceptional bead is one of a small collection we have been putting together for well over a decade and not newly bought by us.

Age: Circa 2nd Millenium BC

Size: L 33 mm x W  14 mm x D  4 mm.

Weight:  4 grams.