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Open Access Publications from the University of California


  • Author(s): Harrell, James
  • et al.

The gemstones of ancient Egypt, broadly defined, include all rocks, minerals, and biogenic materials used for jewelry (beads, pendants, ring stones, and cloisonné inlays), amulets, seals, and other small decorative items (figurines, cosmetic vessels, and inlays in furniture and sculpture). At least 38 gemstone varieties were used by the Egyptians, but ancient mines in Egypt are known for only nine of these. Some of the gemstones were imported from sources in Asia while others certainly came from undiscovered Egyptian mines .

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