Coral & Silver Multi-strand Yemen Necklace


Wow - this is an fabulous seven-strand assemblage necklace of coral and silver (with a few little glass beads thrown in) from Yemen in the Middle East.  This necklace is spectacular -- measuring a whopping 45 inches long!  The little coral beads are gorgeous, and there's a number of very intriguing silver beads throughout.  The silver beads are an interesting mix of high-quality and lower quality silver beads, which (as described below) are in a variety of conditions, from very nice to damaged.  But the big attraction this piece (and its sister necklace, available here) is it's overall "wow" factor.  Put it on and you're already made a statement!

Because there's so much to describe in this necklace, we've taken a number of pictures.  The first thing to recognize is that this is a long necklace -- approximately 45 inches long.  Total weights is 369.9 grams.  The coral beads are all a little different size, but the ones toward the center measure between 5-6 mm in diameter, while the ones towards the top measure more in the 4-5 mm range.

The necklace is beautiful, but there is definitely some damage to the individual components -- we don't think these "flaws" detract from the overall aesthetic of the  necklace, but we still want to point them out:

  • The center bead is a gorgeous vintage Jewish/Yemeni silver bead made of coin silver.  It measures 34 mm in diameter, 10 mm in thickness.  Note that there appears to be a small stone or cabochon space on each side of the bead that is empty.
  • About halfway up the necklace, there are five more (two on one side, three on the other) coin silver beads that are also nice vintage silver work.  Although all of the beads show wear, they are intact, with some slight bending at the edges and significant wear on one of them.  Like the center bead, these beads all have an empty space for a small stone or cabochon on each side of the bead
  • There are three separate groupings of silver tubes and flat stamped silver beads at various points along the necklace.  All appear to be silver, although they tend to be made of very thin stamped metal.  As a result of the thinness of the beads, several are a little squashed and a few have been flattened or have little holes in the metal where they have been damaged.
  • There are a few European-made glass beads interspaced throughout.

We don't know a lot about the provenance of this necklace, but it seems to us to be a traditional wedding assemblage of beads, perhaps from the Beduin peoples that live in the mountains of Yemen.  The necklace could certainly be worn as-is.  However, it is strung on cotton cord, and certainly a modern stringing job would be warranted (which we could do for any additional $150).  

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