rock crystal and red coral rosary

I stumbled upon this page on (medieval) rosaries on the internet and got inspired to make myself one as well. Apparently, rosaries made from red coral were very common (if you could afford it, I guess) and you see them frequently in the artwork. Red coral now and then was and is very expensive stuff, so the extremely large beads seen on some portraits might be a slight exaggeration on behalf of the artist... Guess showing off is never quite out of fashion. Here am some pictures with smaller beads:

birth of mary Verkündigung an Maria Graduale des Grosz-St.-Martin Adoration of the Magi

red coral rosaries

For my rosary I used rock crystal for the dividing beads (as seen on the first three images above). The 'red coral' I used is normal white coral dyed red (which looks natural enough I think) due to the fact that the real red coral is near extinction, which renders its use both immorale and unaffordable... I threaded the beads on golden silk embroidery yarn and added a tassel made from the same yarn (see picture on the right above). I think it makes a nice new dress accessory (even for a not so religious person like myself):

rock crystal and coral rosary rock crystal and coral rosary rock crystal and coral rosary

my rosary with red coral and rock crystal beads

(bettina, september 2009)