This unusual necklace brings together amber and faience, two of the ornaments most prized by the ancients. Faience, a glass composite glaze, was introduced in Egypt as early as the Pre-Dynastic period. Beads of various sizes and shapes were formed from clay, coated with faience paste and then fired to bright colors. The majority of beads were in shades of blue or green, but red, yellow and black were also popular. In the art of Egypt’s Golden Age, beautiful women are shown adorned with strand after strand of faience beads. Very often, such jewelry was buried in tombs to bring pleasure through eternity. In this lovely necklace, the beads certainly fulfill their promise. For centuries, coral was classed among the precious gems valued by civilization. An organic substance, it is composed of the skeletons of millions of tiny marine animals. Plantlike in appearance, it grows in warm waters. White is the most common color for coral, but the rarer shades of red, pink, orange and black are much sought after for jewelry and amulets. Its therapeutic value has long been understood, for coral, like pearl, seems to derive its strength from the accumulated energy of living things. Combined here with Egyptian faience, coral helps create a jewel of bold and barbaric splendor, one that the Queen of Sheba, Nefertiti, or Helen Of Troy might have worn with pride.