In the Ancient world, agate was prized for its beautiful natural banding, as well as its ability to be carved and pierced. It has been excavated at numerous Bronze Age sites, including the grand palace at Knossos on Crete, which served as an entry point for trade to the Mediterranean from Egyptian and Near Eastern cultures. Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher interested in the natural world, named the stone in around the 4th century BC. He found the crystal on the banks of the Dirillo river in Sicily, known to the ancient Greeks as the Achates (Ἀχάτης).
Important Western Asiatic Agate Bead
A stunning Western Asiatic banded agate bead, oval shaped with translucent centre and fine natural banding to the edges, pierced longitudinally for suspension. This important bead, although showcasing vibrant bands of natural colouring, displays a diaphanous quality that beautifully catches the light. The bead’s large size makes it a perfect centrepiece to any jewellery ensemble.
Provenance: From an important collection of a Japanese gentlemen, deceased, 1970-2015.
Condition: Very fine. Suitable for wear strung on modern necklace.