Blue Nile Pendant Necklace:
This wonderful pendant necklace is composed of two symmetrical strands that are brought together on one end by a clasp and on the other end by a magnificent Ethiopian cross. Aquamarine resin beads alternate with shiny silver donuts to create the sides of the necklace which are beautifully balanced by the ancient-style brass and copper at the ends. This original handcrafted artisan necklace rests comfortably around the collar bone with the copper cross perfectly framed for viewing.
Christianity was established in Ethiopia in the 4th century and since that time Ethiopians have worn neck crosses as a symbol of their faith. The crosses were often hung on a cotton blue cord called a mateb which was received at baptism. Although much more elaborate, I used the blue resin beads as well as stringing the necklace with a blue cord to give this piece some historical accuracy.
The Ethiopian Highlands, the longest continuous area of altitude on the whole continent of Africa, have helped to shelter Ethiopia from foreign conquest, preserving its distinct culture. Aksum, in the northeastern Highlands was a leading civilization of the ancient world and the supposed resting place for the Ark of the Covenant. The Blue Nile runs through the Highlands and is a perfect name for the flowing aquamarine strands of this necklace.
The resin beads are handmade by “cottage industry” in Indonesia. They are lightweight and colorful, sanded to a smooth matte finish with each bead slightly varied from the next. The silver beads are actually terra cotta donuts that have been fired with a copper glaze, coated with 100% pure silver, and then antiqued. These stunning beads are of outstanding quality and they have a unique “liquid” silver appearance.
Deceivingly ancient in appearance, the woven brass beads are actually newly made in a village near Kumasi, Ghana. Similarly, the brass rings are currently made in Cameroon and Nigeria with some actually being ancient pieces. Each of these brass components are superb pieces of art bringing authentic flavor and soul to this necklace. The cross itself is also newly cast in Ethiopia from copper. More commonly Ethiopian crosses are made of a nickel/silver alloy, but as long as I can find the copper crosses, I will continue to use them in this piece.
This exotic designer necklace is approximately 16” in length, adjusting to 20” with the pendant suspending almost an additional 2 inches. It closes with a large brass spring ring clasp. You may also be interested in the matching Blue Nile Bracelet and Earrings.
Pictured with the Southsea Choker.
- Ethiopian copper cross
- Indonesian aquamarine resin beads
- Grecian silver coated antiqued terra cotta donuts
- African "woven" brass beads
- African antique brass rings
- Solid brass jump rings
- Solid copper jump rings
- Brass cable chain
- Giant brass lobster clasp
Length: 16" with 4" extension* I make every piece of jewelry myself with gemstones and natural materials I get from all over the world. Due to the nature and availability of the materials, each piece of jewelry will vary slightly from the original. Every piece will be equally beautiful and every piece is an original work of art.