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Old 10th February 2018, 09:51 PM   #19
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
These stones, both black and red, were very popular in Balinese silver jewellery from the early 1970's through to the mid-1980's. That is the time span I can vouch for, but they might have been used before the 1970's, have not seen the black stones like these in verifiable pre-WWII work. I think these stones are both still used, but not nearly as often as they used to be. During the 1970' -1980's the black stones were very prevalent. They used to call them black sapphires in Bali, something I've always found difficult to accept. Sapphire is corundum, if it is brilliant cut crystal, its a sapphire, if it is a dull black cab it is stuff that missed out on getting ground up and made into W&D paper. If it is a cab with a star, well, that's different. They were cheap stones.

Yes, real black star sapphire is actually a pretty pricey stone. That is why i suggested this might be black diopside, which has a similar look.
What you say here Alan confirms my own suspicions of the age of this hilt, or at least the selut. But the ivory still looks dyed to me and i suspect the entire hilt may well be from about the same period just as you do.
I don't particularly mean this as a criticism. It is still an attractive hilt. However, if indeed it is from this late 20th century period it is less likely to have had as much intention placed on an actual traditional figure than, say, if it where a 19th century piece.
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