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Original Message:   Re: A Peter Francis, Jr. Bead -- Info Sought
This looks similar to some "etched" carnelian copies which I bought in the early 90s in Tehran. I bought them as presents also. Here are a couple of almost useless photos that I scanned into my computer files a long time ago. The pattern, imitating ancient carnelians, was incised into the stone and filled with paste. The lines frequently extend beyond the edge of the pattern. It was a technique that was used in ancient times throughout Asia by artisans and communities that didn't know the chemical formula for producing the "etched" effect, or, more rarely, for reproducing it on other stone surfaces such as amethyst.

If the Peter Francis bead is glass rather than stone, a further stage of imitation was involved. I'm not sure when these copies of ancient etched beads started to be made in Iran, though I think I have heard that some appeared as early as the nineteenth century. I imagine there must be something about them in Asia's Maritime Bead Trade but I don't have it with me as I write.

I've never seen a glass one before, but the carnelians are common and quite pretty. Ali would know more about them than I do, I'm sure.

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