AUD $550.00
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Ladakhi, Large Turquoise Bead.

Sorry, this stunning bead is no longer available.
From Ladakh, in Northern India, this large dark Turquoise nugget, is finely veined with matrix. The size of this stone indicates it would have been used as a central feature on a traditional "perak" the succesful Ladakhi business womans large "snakes head" headdress covered in Turquoises that served both as status and banking. Some of these "peraks" are known to weigh over 30 kgs, most of that weight being in the Turquoises and Corals, and occasional Carnelians, that have been sewn on.

The stone sitting on its flat back is irregular like a stony green island, with sloping sides and steep cliffs, the highest plane slopes gently down to the lowest cliff. There is an organic feel to it rather than the more often seen rectangular beads.

This colour of Turquoise is my favourite, a lovely deep, dark milky teal green (with only one small patch and some tiny spots of paler aqua on the flat reverse) netted allover with a fine veining of darker Burnt Umber matrix.

There is a longitudinal hole (2 mm) that originally allowed sewing or threading, and can now be used when you wear this stone yourself.

It can easily be worn simply alone on a cord or as a centre piece in a more complicated necklace.

Remember, though, that Turquoise improves and darkens with age, as it soaks up oils and grime. Dark Antique Turquoises like this one are amongst the most sought after by most Western Tribal Collectors, having acquired a depth and richness through wear.

SO DON'T SUBJECT YOUR TURQUOISE TO CLEANERS, SOLVENTS OR SOAPY WATER, as these may dissolve the oils, lightening the stone and altering the colour. (You don't wear a Turquoise ring in washing up water or chlorine.)

Incidently, there is no smell of coconut (I always sniff them now, since catching the shopkeepers in Kathmandu early one morning, soaking them in Coconut Oil to enhance their colour, age and weight.)


Age: Mid 20th Century.

Size: L 53 mm x W 36 mm x D 24 mm.

Weight: 51 grams.