This large beautiful jade teardrop bead came into my collection of ethnic ornaments thirty-eight years ago. It was not a bead at the time. I found it as part of a cluster of jade grapes in Kabul, Afghanistan. The carved jade 'leaves' were just as ornamental as the translucent teardrop shaped 'grapes.' The large cluster was created by hand to adorn the dining table and that is what I bought it for.
Where did I buy it? Well, my family was in Afghanistan in connection with the aid programs that the U. S. State Department was operating there in the country. On the grounds of the U. S. agency's offices, there was a gift shop that sold such handmade items and the proceeds went to assist in the education of Afghan women and girls.
I used the piece along with ancient bronze Persian vessels that I had bought in the Kabul Bazaar. I used them as candle holders. The jade cluster fit very well in dressing up the dining table, especially when displayed on a handloomed, hand printed table cloth.
I don't entertain any more and seldom have a centerpiece on my dining table other than a pile of wire and beads. So one day I looked at the jade grape cluster and saw how beautiful the individual pieces were and I decided that I would string the hand carved jade leaves with some matching agate beads, resulting in a piece that you can find in this same shop section, aptly named as the jade section.
Then I looked at all those perfectly shaped teardrop jade 'grapes' that I decided should be used in jewelry. I removed this bead from the 'vine,' attached a silver plated filigree cap and a handmade bail. Since it is not a small bead and I knew I would use other semi-precious beads that were not too much smaller, I limited the number of stones for the necklace I had in mind. All the gemstone beads in this piece are hand made. The chain, clasp spacer beads and bead bails are silver plated and do not contain lead or nickel.
The string of beads is on the same chain that you can see bare. The beads are secured in the center of the chain by attaching small wire wrapped stoppers at each end of the string of beads. The design stays together.
Necklace Length: 22 in (56 cm)
Measurements of Drop Pendant: 1 in (2.5 cm) x 1.25 in (3.2 cm)