No one knows who Shakespeare's famous Dark Lady of his sonnets was. The title may refer to her coloring or simply to the mystery that has always surrounded her. This is the newest in my Shakespeare's Dark Lady line, started in 2000.
The gemstones are smoky quartz, a semi precious gemstone associated with mystery and intrigue during Shakespeare's time, and glittering Chinese jet crystal. The style was exceedingly popular at the Tudor court: a hoop of precious metal with a pearl or gemstone drop.
The earrings feature 13mm. sterling silver-filled hoops, that latch in the back for security. The 8mm. smoky quartz rounds are micro-faceted for a maximum of sparkle. I've paired them with 8mm. faceted rondelles of Chinese jet crystal. They are worked on sterling silver spear-shaped pins with granulated beading, which is echoed in the sterling rondelles between the stones. This granulated beading technique was characteristic of ancient Etruscan and Roman jewelry, which was revived and quite popular during the Renaissance. The earrings measure 1.75" total.
The last scan is Lady Mary Fitton, by an anonymous painter. She is thought by some historians to be the Dark Lady of Shakespeare's sonnets.
All metals are sterling silver and sterling silver-filled, except for the filigree beadcaps which are silver plate. The smoky quartz is genuine. The Chinese jet crystal is lab-created.
The retail value of these earrings in a good historical jewelry catalogue would be approximately $75.
You don't need a full Renaissance costume to feel like a romantic heroine--a simple longish dress, and this lovely set will make you feel like a Lady of the Tudor court herself!
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