Lapis and silver
British Museum Core collection, since 2011
This beautiful pendant features a cabochon lapis lazuli gemstone as it’s centre piece and is inspired by the motifs found on Afghan and Persian carpets.
Carpets are found in most homes in the region and the intricate patterns and designs derived from the beauty of nature are reflected in the piece.
Afghanistan was the source of lapis lazuli for the ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations, as well as the later Greeks and Romans. The best lapis lazuli is found in Badakhshan province in north-eastern Afghanistan and has been used for millennia in jewellery. The word lazuli is derived ultimately from the Persian lazhward, the name of a place where it was mined and which came to be associated with the stone and, eventually, with its colour.