In the Philippines, the 10th and 14th centuries were considered the golden age of political, social and economic progress before the Spaniards discovered the islands. Gold was abundant in all of the major islands, exctracted by placer or pit mining. The ancient Filipinos mastered gold processing using primitive techniques to turn raw gold into exquisite works of art.
One of the most coveted pieces of pre-colonial gold ornament is the Kamagi gear head necklace, highly prized by the Bagobo tribe of Mindanao. These are made from individual gold beads with gear-like notches formed by an earthenware block. Supposedly they have medicinal properties to protect the wearer from spasms and infection.
Using excavated gold from Agusan that could have been part of royal treasury, this necklace has strung smaller gear beads, tubular links, granulated funnel finials and large gear beads, held together by hook and eye clasp. A magnificent piece of ancient Filipino jewelry history.