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Sapphire and Diamond Stag Beetle, Austro-Hungarian, circa 1890

Sapphire and diamond stag beetle brooch, mounted in gold and silver, width/length: 2-3/4. Price $48,000

A La Vieille Russie, 781 Fifth Ave. New York NY, 10022 - Phone: 212-752-1727 - E-Mail: rebecca@alvr.com

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White and Green Jade Beetle Brooch by Iradj Moini, United States, 1980's

Wonderful Beetle brooch designed and made by master jeweler Iradj Moini. As with all his work he has used semi precious stones, in this case both white and green Jade. accented by gold plated metal and blue cabochon eyes and small amber stones at the end of the tentacles. This is an early piece. height: 5.08 cm (2 in.) depth: 2.54 cm (1 in.) width/length: 10.16 cm (4 in.). Price $2,250

Dragonette LTD. 711 N. La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles CA, 90069 - Phone: 310-855-9091 - E-Mail: dragonette@mac.com

By far the most important amulet in ancient Egypt was the scarab, symbolically as sacred to the Egyptians as the cross is to Christians.

Scarab dung beetles lay eggs in a pellet which they roll along and the Egyptians regarded this action as an image of the sun and its course through the heavens, rolled by a gigantic beetle. Scarabs are associated with the Egyptian god, Khepri. It was Khepri that pushed the sun across the sky. The scarab beetle became an ancient Egyptian symbol for rebirth, the ability to be reborn. Each day the sun disappeared, always to rise again and be reborn the following day.

The god Khepri, which literally means "He who is Coming into Being", was a creator god and a solar deity. He was represented as a scarab or dung beetle, or as a man with a beetle head. The scarab beetle was observed to roll it's eggs in a ball of dung along the ground, and the ball was identified with the sun. The baby beetles were seen to emerge from the primeval mound and so dung beetles were thought capable of spontaneous creation.

Scarabs were worn as jewellery and amulets in ancient Egypt. The Heart Scarab, which had hieroglyphic inscriptions on the back, was often buried with the dead to ensure the rebirth of the deceased in the afterlife. They were placed over the heart of the deceased to keep it from confessing sins during its interrogation in the "Weighing of the Heart" ceremony.

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Tutanhkamun pendant (photo: J. Bodsworth)

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Tutanhkamun lapis scarab (J. Bodsworth)

I found a surprising :

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Living jewelry. Tenebrionid beetle (Family Tenebrionidae). University of Colorado Museum of Natural History

Many beetle species, with brilliant colors, are a popular motif in jewelry; think of the scarab beetles of Ancient Egypt. This tenebrionid beetle from Mexico is not a facsimile. The living beetle was adorned with purple and gold colored ribbon and an opalescent substance, glued to a chain that could then be pinned to clothing.

The adult beetle does not feed or fly. Still sold, and worn, in parts of Mexico, U.S. Customs will not allow the living beetles into the United States. This one was collected by former University of Colorado Museum of Natural History Director Dr. Hugo Rodeck in the early 1960s.