Mounted in a stunning 18 karat gold pendant.
The art of glyptics, carving on colored semiprecious stones, is possibly one of the oldest art forms known to man. Intaglios, gems with an incised design, were made as early as the fourth and third millennia B.C. In Mesopotamia and the Aegean islands, their virtuosity of execution suggesting an old tradition rooted in the earlier centuries. However, the gems from ancient Greece and Rome are worthy of special interest for it was then and there that the expressive and aesthetic language of glyptics was truly born. It was also during this period that portrait gems emerged. This intaglio, created during the classical revival period, evidences the continuing classic glyptic tradition of exceptional artistry and beauty. Here we see the striking image of a Roman emperor, carved from the beautiful stone, carnelian.
The ancient Egyptians believed that fiery orange-red carnelian was the distilled essence of the Sun's rays, and many of the jewels of the Pharaohs were carved from it. The name of this generally translucent variety of chalcedony comes from the Latin word for flesh, for that is what its warm reddish tones reminded the Romans of. Since earliest times, carnelian has been prized for its rich, radiant color like the heart of a glowing fire. Carnelian jewels have been discovered in the Royal tombs of Ur, Egypt and the Holy Land. One royal lady of ancient Jordan was found buried with a carnelian and gold necklace over ten feet in length. The Prophet Mohammed himself is said to have worn a ring set with this gem. As an amulet, carnelian is favored to act on the blood, preventing it from rising in excess to the head, stopping nosebleed, easing menstrual flow and causing blood to circulate smoothly throughout the body. It is believed to make the skin healthy and youthful, removing sores and blemishes when worn. Because of its calming effects on the blood, carnelian also makes one feel peaceful and slow to anger. It is theorized that the color orange is the harmonious balance of passionate, creative red and bright, cheerful yellow, which makes it particularly soothing to wear. Carnelian is the perfect stone to achieve that blissful state of balance.