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Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Timeless Beauty of Antique Jewelry

On our living room coffee table we have books ... books about jewelry: Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Georgian, Victorian Jewelry, Designer Costume Jewelry ... and when we need a refresh, a reminder as to why we spend so much time hunting down rare pieces, all we need to do is sit and browse the magnificent photos in these books. The designer pieces always blow us away with their incredible beauty of design and their use of diamonds and gemstones. But when my daughter recently invested in a book on Georgian jewelry, well the photos just took my breath away. 

When you look at a photo like this one of Mary Edwards back in the 1700's, you can't help but think how heavy her clothing must have been. How did they survive in summers such as we are having right now in Canada? Then topping off her outfit is that heavy, but glorious necklace. It's all so ornate compared to the simplicity of today's machine cut, cheap mall jewelry that I think of as "throw-away" i.e. wear it once and if it doesn't fall apart, it invariably ends up in your next garage sale where you sell it, if you're lucky, for 20 cents or less. 

Not so something like Mary Edwards' Georgian necklace. What would it be worth today? What condition would it be in if you could even find it or something like it? And if you could find it, could you afford it!

Our books leave us drooling and dreaming. What would it have been like to wear such jewelry? Would your neck ache from the weight of the jewels. If you've never invested in books like these, do. They are fascinating reading, and in our case, they keep us inspired, looking for more, hoping we'll stumble across a rare piece that we can afford. And sometimes, we find some beauties, like this superb GEORGIAN ROSE CUT DIAMOND BROOCH

How I wish you could see what we saw when we had the good fortune to come across this one at a high-end estate sale! No matter how good our photos are, they have still failed to capture the stunning glitter from the 99 rose-cut diamonds that make up this floral bouquet. Those diamonds range in size from pencil-tips to 2.40mm and our closest guess on total diamond carat weight is around 2 to 2.5cts. It may be more, but no-one would want to risk removing the diamonds to assess their depth which cannot be seen as the back is closed.

Weighing 16.98 grams, the brooch, which could be worn as a pendant with a bit of imagination, measures 55mm X 44mm. Here's another view: 

That could be YOUR hand holding it! Just visit DIVINE FINDS at RUBY LANE to read up more on this one and see more photos. And while you're there, check out some of our other recent additions. Each and every one of them is truly "a divine find"!

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