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Some facts and folklore about the necklace.
- During a cave excavation in South Africa in 2004, scientists found forty one shell fish that may have been strung together for use as a necklace. These shell fish were estimated to be 75,000 years old, thus making this possibly the oldest example of a necklace known.
- Early necklaces were made from various items strung together, as is still done today. Shells, bones, rocks, beads, animal teeth, claws. You name it, someone probably made a necklace out of it.
- The earliest examples of gold used in necklaces dates back to 2500 BCE These were found in royal graves in what is now Iraq.
- Both men and women in ancient Egypt wore necklaces. When Egyptian royalty died, their jewelry was buried with them to be used in the afterlife.
- Some Christians wear a crucifix or cross as a pendant on a necklace, but this did not begin until the 4th century, when Christianity became legal in Rome (soon to become the state religion) and the practice of crucifying was stopped.
- Like all forms of jewelry, the necklace lost its popularity for a time. After the fall of Rome, necklaces were seldom worn until the beginning of the 14th century.
- The Affair Of The Diamond Necklace in France during the reign of King Louis XVI helped further foment opinion against the monarchy before the French Revolution. Queen Marie Antoinette was implicated in the scandal, but she actually had no part in it. It was an intrigue by people in the king's court to get possession of an expensive diamond necklace for their own profit.
- The most expensive necklace is one that sports a 75 carat diamond with an approximate worth of $ 5 million.
- In the 1860's the Navajo tribe of Native Americans began to fashion necklaces from turquoise and silver. These necklaces were not only sold, but used as barter with traders on the reservation. The Navajo would get supplies from these traders, and give them the necklaces for security. If payment for the goods was not made within a certain length of time, the trader kept the necklace.
- Perhaps the most famous diamond in the world, The Hope Diamond, is part of a necklace. The blue diamond is mounted on a pendant that is surrounded by 16 clear diamonds. The pendant hangs from a chain of 45 white diamonds. The Hope Diamond was purchased as a rough cut diamond by a French merchant traveler named Tavernier in the 17th century, and passed through many hands until it ended up in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC The Hope Diamond has been estimated at being worth $ 2- 25 million.