Pink Confucius (?) Necklace

This one is a mystery. It belonged to my grandmother or her sister, and appears to be made of quartz. I think it’s pink quartz, but it’s extremely pale.

The little round beads are cut; I think they are supposed to be floral, although there are round discs on each side of the bead that I can’t really identify.

The little medallion is either a little Confucius or for some reason, reminds me of a little monkey dressed up? I can’t tell, and have no idea if its history other than it was made pre-1940; guessing by the size and knowing who owned it, and thinking it may be 1920s or even earlier, but I don’t know if this was new to one of them back then, or something that was old even back then.

Has anyone seen anything like this?


That’s really interesting! I love the little carved figure.
Probably not Confucius, but a Chinese god, because of the long beard.

I’d say you’re right about 1920s-30s, based on the style of the chain.
I have a few necklaces with this exact chain and I know my pieces are from that time period.
The brass jump rings don’t look original to the piece, but anything’s possible!


I have never seen anything like this. The monkey kinda looks like a bird too. The different metals makes me think this was put together using what the had on hand. Like they hand the chain and cut it up and added the pink stones. I definitely would have made something like this when I was younger.

Wait now I look at it again I see fingers. Idk know what it is but it’s a neat little necklace.


Ok Stracci I see it now. It almost looks like a beard to me now.

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The chain is identical to ones I have: First quarter of the 20th century (possibly late 19th century). The pink stone is rose quartz. Clear beads are likely colorless quartz. Typically Buddha is portrayed in these carvings. That being said, it could be a god, however, the carving is too crude for me to ID which one. The crudeness of the carving also suggests a post-Qing Dynasty 20th century Chinese carving for the export market. My guess is early Republic period stone on a period chain.


He does have a beard. The stones are so pale that the detail is hard to see. The brass jump rings are probably not original, but it could have broken and been repaired on the cheap…I know that I broke necklace chains left and right when they were so thin so I can imagine this could easily be the case.

I can see this being an export piece. Grandma’s family were a South Carolina farming family and didn’t have a lot of money for travel and expensive things…maybe this was a gift or some little tourist bauble.


Very interesting. The carving style does look Oriental to me.
I would date it around 1900.
The sprig ring clasp was introduced in about 1860. This looks like a more refined version of the early ones.


@fernwood that date sounds feasible. It could have been old when it was received, or maybe one of them got it as a child. It is a choker on me, so it could easily fit a child; grandma was born in 1900 and her sister in 1898.

I also did a little research on necklace clasps and you are correct, this style was around in that era. Apparently those were used for a good many years!

Something else that I read on one of the antique necklace hardware websites was that sometimes they did use brass jump rings, so there is a chance that maybe all the parts on this are original.


I dunno - I think it is a stylized Confucius - with that beard and that little hat. In Rose quartz - just lovely!



Agree, and that dates it a bit too, since Confucius went seriously out of fashion when the Revolution came (he’s back now though, sorta).