This Middle Eastern inspired cross necklace features beautiful cobalt blue glass, Persian blue ceramic, amber resin and a bold Ethiopian silver cross. What a fantastic color scheme, so warm and ethnic and exotic! Lapis Lazuli has been a prized gemstone throughout history and particularly important to the Middle East as it was first mined in Afghanistan. The stone itself is important, but the beautiful cobalt blue color is prized as well. Cobalt blue glass is used throughout the Middle East, but especially in Turkey where the evil eye (Nazar Boncuğu) amulets have been made for over 3000 years. The cobalt blue glass beads in this necklace are from Turkey as well, hence the title Istanbul.
There is also an exotic Persian blue "donkey bead" which is made of faience, an ancient non clay ceramic of quartz and sand used 5500 years ago in Egypt. These beads are still being made in the city of Qom, in Iran, where they are used as good luck beads against the Evil Eye. They are used by people, but also in vehicles, homes and on animals, which is why they are called donkey beads. I am not exactly sure when these particular beads were created, but I got them from a collector who had them in her house for at least 30 years. They are crudely handmade and inexact which adds to their wonderful charm.
This large Ethiopian Coptic cross is absolutely gorgeous! It's an old cross created using the lost wax casting method and shows it's age and use. I love these handmade crosses from Ethiopia as they are inexact and each one is totally unique giving them so much character. These are often made out of found metals such as the Maria Theresa dollars and silver.
*the exact cross will vary
Length: 36" + 4" extender; pendant portion 4.5"
* 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.