From the Past: Yemen Silver Filigree and Granulation Plaques with Amulets and Bawsani Filigree Drop Beads
The small beads did not have to be so fine, as the original ones were probably not. But the first restorer of this piece some decades ago hung tiny dainty Bawsani type filigree drop beads, one on each of the middle strands, just to show the value of the necklace.
Over the years the strings wore through, the piece fell apart again. Most of the coral was still with the silver pieces, so it was possible to restore the lazem/kirdan necklace after rummaging through my stray bead trays for my old Mediterranean coral pieces that we had collected over the years.
You will note that the central plaque had six holes to divide the strands, but the end plaques had only five, though they are perfectly matched in design to the central plaque. Note also that the three amulets also match closely in design. At some point in the long past, some of the attachments on the amulets may have been replaced with a different shape than the original. All the metal pieces are old Yemeni pieces. The coral comes from the same source as the Yemen coral came from: the Mediterranean, possibly off the North African coast.
In restoring the piece, I wanted to make it as secure as possible on the string I used, so it now hangs on nylon coated steel and should not fall apart for another hundred years at least. I randomly tested the coral I replaced by checking to see if it effervesced in vinegar or lemon juice. It reacted as coral is supposed to react by blowing tiny bubbles in the acidic juice.
Coral is about 75 grams.
Length of necklace = 24.5 in (62 cm)
Central Plaque = 1.25 in (3 cm) x 3 in (7.5 cm) including pendants