This necklace is made from very old African recycled glass beads strung on 2mm leather cording. Tied between the cording I have bits of olive green silk ribbon. What you can’t see is that on the back of this very heavy necklace there are four strands of leather strung with a good number of those African beads. The beads hanging down my back are interesting to look at, but more importantly they provide a counterweight for the front of the necklace. This heavy necklace is comfortable because of these counterweights.
If you want to see more examples of counterweights used in necklaces visit your local museum and check out ethnographic jewelry exhibits. You’ll see long tassels, beaded drops and long chain counterweights hanging from beaded collars and other large-scale necklaces.