The design of these lapis lazuli earrings were inspired by the traditional prayer beads (Tasbeh) used in the region of Afghanistan since ancient times, and the silver bead symbolizes the different shaped bead often included to help with counting. They feature the poetry of Hafez, a Persian poet widely admired in Afghanistan and the designer’s own calligraphy.
Afghanistan was the source of lapis lazuli for the ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations, as well as the later Greeks and Romans. The best lapis lazuli is found in Badakhshan province in northeastern Afghanistan and has been used for millennia in jewellery. The word lazuli is derived ultimately from the Persian lāzhward, the name of a place where it was mined and which came to be associated with the stone and, eventually, with its colour.
These are part of a British Museum selection from the designer Sima Vaziry.