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Hand Polished Roman Carnelian Pendant 100 AD $99.99

For Customers outside of USA

Beautiful, Colorful 17 Carat Ancient Roman Semi-Precious Carnelian Gemstone Polished Pendant.

CLASSIFICATION: Hand carved and finished tubular octagonal-shaped orange carnelian (quartz) semi-precious gemstone pendant. Mounted onto 60 millimeter (24 inch) contemporary 14kt gold electroplated chain

ATTRIBUTION: Eastern Roman Empire (Thracia), 1st Century A.D.


Weight: 17.26 carats.

Diameter: 8 1/2 to 10 millimeters.

Length: 24 millimeters.

Chain: 60 millimeters (about 24 inches).

CONDITION: Very good. Sound integrity, but a portion broken off. Minor scratches and scuffs consistent with use and then burial in soil.

DETAIL: This is a nicely preserved genuine carnelian gemstone hand-carved and finished into a pendant sometime in the 1st century A.D. in Roman Provincial Thracia. As you can see, it is a rather uncommon pendant; a highly polished octagonal tube. One can almost imagine a bored artisan, tired of the same old faceted or polished sphere, trying his hand at something new, anything other than the typical polished or faceted sphere so common to the Roman world of the first century. As can be seen, a portion of the pendant was broken off. Probably while worn by the original Roman citizen who owned it, it was damaged, most likely by being dropped or being dashed against something. Really, the little bit of damage does not detract from its beauty, it really only reinforces its authenticity and antiquity. Carnelian gemstones and jewelry were very popular throughout the Roman Empire, and carnelian was widely used to carve cameos and signet/intaglio rings. Since before recorded history evidence suggests that carnelian was one of the most favored gemstones for at least the past 10,000 years. Two of the richest archaeological treasures, the tombs of both the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen and Sumerian Queen Pu-abi's tomb at Ur contained many splendid examples of carnelian jewelry. The Romans acquired their taste for this beautifully colored reddish-orange gemstone from the Phoenicians, who traded extensively in carnelian. This gorgeous pendant has been mounted onto a 14kt gold electroplated chain for your pleasure, and it is included without additional charge. If you would prefer, we also have available solid 14kt gold as well as sterling silver chains.

HISTORY: With the exception of pearls, used as gemstones by prehistoric man, carnelian, turquoise, and lapis lazuli are the oldest gemstones utilized in the manufacture of jewelry. Carnelian is a form of quartz crystal which due to the inclusion of iron oxide is colored somewhere between yellow and red. The red variety of carnelian was most popular in the ancient world. Carnelian was widely favored by the Sumerian/Mesopotamian cultures and then their successors the Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans for its use in jewelry. However it was just as popular for use in carved intaglio seals, which originated in Mesopotamia (Sumeria) sometime in the 5th millennium B.C. The production of such incised carnelian seals was a highly developed art form by the 4th millennium B.C. Aside from being quite beautiful, carnelian seals and signets had the practical advantage of not sticking to wax. There are many splendid examples of intaglio carnelian rings and signets produced by ancient Roman and Greek craftsmen still in existence today. A particularly noteworthy collection is housed at The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia.

One of the greatest civilizations of recorded history was the ancient Roman Empire. In exchange for a very modest amount of contemporary currency, you can possess a small part of that great civilization in the form of a 2,000 year old piece of jewelry. The Roman civilization, in relative terms the greatest military power in the history of the world, was founded in the 8th century (B.C.). In the 4th Century (B.C.) the Romans were the dominant power on the Italian Peninsula, having defeated the Etruscans and Celts. In the 3rd Century (B.C.) the Romans conquered Sicily, and in the following century defeated Carthage, and controlled the Greece. Throughout the remainder of the 2nd Century (B.C.) the Roman Empire continued its gradual conquest of the Hellenistic (Greek Colonial) World by conquering Syria and Macedonia; and finally came to control Egypt in the 1st Century (B.C.).

The pinnacle of Roman power was achieved in the 1st Century (A.D.) as Rome conquered much of Britain and Western Europe. For a brief time, the era of “Pax Romana”, a time of peace and consolidation reigned. Civilian emperors were the rule, and the culture flourished with a great deal of liberty enjoyed by the average Roman Citizen. However within 200 years the Roman Empire was in a state of steady decay, attacked by Germans, Goths, and Persians. In the 4th Century (A.D.) the Roman Empire was split between East and West. The Great Emperor Constantine temporarily arrested the decay of the Empire, but within a hundred years after his death the Persians captured Mesopotamia, Vandals infiltrated Gaul and Spain, and the Goths even sacked Rome itself. Most historians date the end of the Western Roman Empire to 476 (A.D.) when Emperor Romulus Augustus was deposed. However the Eastern Roman Empire (The Byzantine Empire) survived until the fall of Constantinople in 1453 AD.

At its peak, the Roman Empire stretched from Britain in the West, throughout most of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, and into Asia Minor. Valuables such as coins and jewelry were commonly buried for safekeeping, and inevitably these ancient citizens would succumb to one of the many perils of the ancient world. Oftentimes the survivors of these individuals did not know where the valuables had been buried, and today, two thousands years later caches of coins and rings are still commonly uncovered throughout Europe and Asia Minor. Roman Soldiers oftentimes came to possess large quantities of “booty” from their plunderous conquests, and routinely buried their treasure for safekeeping before they went into battle. If they met their end in battle, most often the whereabouts of their treasure was likewise, unknown. Throughout history these treasures have been inadvertently discovered by farmers in their fields, uncovered by erosion, and the target of unsystematic searches by treasure seekers. With the introduction of metal detectors and other modern technologies to Eastern Europe in the past three or four decades, an amazing number of new finds are seeing the light of day 2,000 years or more after they were originally hidden by their past owners. And with the liberalization of post-Soviet Eastern Europe, new markets have opened eager to share in these treasures of the Roman Empire.

The antiquities offered were originally part of a collection accumulated throughout most of the twentieth century. The Roman artifacts were found principally in Romania (literally "land of the Romans"), Bulgaria, and Syria. The Sumerian artifacts were unearthed in both Turkey and Syria, which along with Iraq and Iran constituted the majority of the sites of the ancient Sumerian civilizations. The Egyptian antiquities were part of a collection amassed in the mid-1960's, at the height of Soviet influence in Egypt. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.

SHIPPING: These antiquities come from a number of collections which by and large originated here in Eastern Europe. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers, principally in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. All of these artifacts are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery via U.S. Mail. All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request.

Our order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington will ship your purchase within one business day of receipt of your personal check or money order. If you wish to pay electronically, we accept both PayPal and BidPay. However we ask that you PLEASE WAIT before remitting until we have mutually agreed upon method of shipment and shipping charges and you understand our PayPal limitations and policies (stated here). We will ship within one business day of our receipt of your electronic remittance.

A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."