Lapis and silver
British Museum Core collection, since 2011
The design of this lapis lazuli necklace was inspired by the traditional prayer beads (Tasbeh) used in the region since ancient times and the silver bead symbolizes the different shaped bead often included to help with counting. It features the poetry of Hafez, a Persian poet widely admired in Afghanistan and the designer’s own calligraphy.
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.
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