The Chinese Mandarin Court Necklace or Chao Zhu was an insignia of rank during the Qing dynasty. The Mandarin Necklace is comprised of 108 beads; 4 sections of 27 beads each. The beads in this necklace are amethyest, agate, Chinese Peking glass and one medallion with the Chinese symbol, Shou for longevity.
Ranking was basically based upon the color of beads used. Red and related shades of coral, and pink were reserved for the highest ranking; then shades of blue; then crystal and whites for the third rank. Any other color could be used for fourth rank and below –except for the restricted ones. Ladies would wear three necklaces, usually one of pearls for the Empress and two of coral. Gentlemen wore one necklace.
Date: Republic period