AUD $650.00
  • Sold Out! - Sorry.

Ladakhi, Large Turquoise Bead.

Sorry, but this gorgeous hunk of Turquoise is no longer available, (it sold in under 16 hours !) however there is still a darker one available in New Arrivals.

From Ladakh, in Northern India, an uncommon, flat, luminous aqua green, Turquoise nugget, with very little fine veining or matrix. The size of this stone indicates it may 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 extraordinary, a lovely bright, glowing almost chrysoprase green (with only one small patch of paler milky green on one end near the hole) this is almost solid Turquoise with very little veining of dusty Olive matrix. In fact the only matrix is on the outer edge leading me to assume it has been sliced from a larger nugget. (It's very similar in colour to antique glazed kitchen tiles, which I think were copper glazed.) The paler centre is almost "Amazonite" in colour but more milky or cloudier.

There is a longitudinal hole (2.5 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 most Turquoise is porous, therefore it improves and darkens with age, as it soaks up oils and grime. Dark Antique Turquoises are 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.)

Pieces of this size and quality aren't easy to come by, (nor are they cheap.) 

Age: Mid/Late 20th Century.

Size: L 64 mm x W 45 mm x D 22 mm.

Weight: 53 grams.