This is a beautiful Roman Glass bead necklace that was strung together in Afghanistan. The clasp is 925 Silver. The Roman Empire extended into the that region over 1000 years ago. The glass is Roman Glass and approximately 1500 years old to 1900 years old. The bead coordination was thoughtful and well done and the beads come from old bangle bracelet pieces that were once worn around the wrist over 1000 years ago. That is why they have the colorful deceorative colors on the Roman Glass. A high tension strong wire was used to help it endure. The spacer beads are a variety of Tourmaline beads.
Some history of Roman Glass:
The Roman Empire began extending around the birth of Christ under the rule of Julius Caesar who became appointed dictator in 44 BC and reached its territorial peak under Emperor Trajan. Its borders extended from Spain, North Africa and England to the East and India Israel and Afghanistan to the West. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476 AD however the Eastern portion endured until and invasion of the Turks brought about its end in1453.
By the end of the first century AD large scale manufacturing resulted in the establishment of glass as a commonly available material in the Roman world. Interesting many sailing vessels were made of Glass. The invention of glass blowing techniques by the Phoenicians aided this endeavor. Glass making reached its peak around the second century AD.
The major component of the glass is silica, which during the Roman period was sand quartz), which contains some alumina (typically 2.5%) and nearly 8% lime.[ Alumina contents vary, peaking around 3% in glasses from the Western Empire remaining notably lower in glasses from the Middle East.
Glasses formed of silica and soda are naturally soluble, and require the addition of a stabilizer such as lime or magnesia. Lime was the primary stabilizer in use during the Roman period, entering the glass through calcareous particles in the beach sand, rather than as a separate component.
Roman glass has also been shown to contain around 1% to 2% chlorine, in contrast to later glasses. This is thought to have originated either in the addition of salt (NaCl) to reduce the melting temperature and viscosity of the glass.
Aqua a pale blue-green color is the common natural color of untreated glass. Many early Roman vessels are this color.
The natural aqua shade of the glass can be intensified with the addition of copper. During the Roman period this was derived from the recovery of oxide scale from scrap copper when heated, to avoid the contaminants present in copper minerals. Copper produced a translucent blue moving towards a darker and denser green.
Colorless glass was produced in the Roman period by adding manganese oxide. This oxidized the iron (II) oxide to iron (III) oxide, which although yellow, is a much weaker colorant, allowing the glass to appear colorless. The use of manganese as a deodorant was a Roman invention first noted in the Imperial period; prior to this, Antimony rich minerals were used.
The beads are in good condition but there are a few small nicks on them, the glass is very old.
I know whoever gets this necklace will treasure and receive many compliments on its beauty. Also there will be a special feeling knowing one is wearing a peice of Roman Empire history.
Necklace Length: 22" long ( 56 cm long )
The beads are in good shape, they are very old and a few of them have some minor nicks on them and one tends to tilt a at a little angle on the wire but the stringer determined all were in good enough condition to be used on the necklace.
Bead Size: about 0.7" diameter ( 1.7 cm diameter ) longest. The shortest beads are about half that size.
Weight: .65 oz ( 18 gm )