The British-Indian government used precious metal coinage until 1947 and did not oppose the use of coins in jewelry; in fact, they encouraged the practice as a form of government propaganda. The increased decorative use of coins in the nineteenth century manifested itself at a time of relative political and economic stability, when the precious metal coinage was available in sufficient quantity to permit this use, even though when coins are used for ornamental purposes they are withdrawn from circulation and lose their function as exchange currency.
On British-Indian silver coins, the image was always a British ruler: William IV (1830-1837), Victoria (1837-1901). Edward VII (1901-1910), George V (1910-1936), and George VI (1936-1952). In effect, coin ornaments become a form of commemorative jewelry marking the reigns of various British monarchs related to Indian history. Such coins are referred to as kampani, the reference being to the British East Indian Company that governed India till 1857, followed thereafter by direct British administration. This designation persists even when post-Company British rule silver coins are referred to in jewelry.
This necklace is made of coins depicting Edward VII and George V.
The claw and tooth were symbols of status and prowess, and were worn to symbolize the magical alliances with the animals. The brutal, primitve power of the animals - usually the bear, lion, and leopard, were feared and respected, and the obtaining of these claws and teeth showed not only great hunting skills, but the ability to conquer these magnificent beasts. Animals were thought to be more in touch with the cosmos then humans, with their superior physical and sensory abilities, they were believed to possess magical and spiritual powers. The claws and teeth were worn to show respect for and to capture the supernatural forces of the animal. Here we have six claws on each side fashioned out of carnelian, a gemstone found primarily in India, as well as various sites in South America.
Carnelian is a variety of chalcedony. The most favorable pieces are a deep red to red-orange hue. Carnelian has a long and storied past, and was once considered strictly the property of the noble class. People holding a high social status were often buried with this gem stone.
Want more energy in your life? Keep carnelian with you and feel it flow to you. Carnelian gives the following advantages:
Protects from bad vibrations
Guards against poverty
Helps give a sense of humor
Calms the temper
The central pendant of this extravagant necklace is crowned with two smooching peacocks, making it ideal for a king's gift to his beloved queen.