In ancient and Medieval Norse mythology, Freya was the beloved Goddess of love and beauty: she was the northern Venus, (and said to be passionately fond of jewelry) and her name lives on in the Friday that was her sacred day. Amber was believed to be formed from her tears. I've crafted these very pretty earrings in her honor. This is the latest in my Freya series.
These are crafted with 12mm. rondelles of vintage, hand-faceted Baltic honey amber. The 24kt. sterling vermeil connector is a Medieval equal-armed Knight's cross, accented with 5mm. rounds of clear, unprocessed cherry Baltic amber.
They hang from extra long sterling vermeil French wires with an old-fashioned full rose pattern. Roses are Freya's sacred flower, and honey and cherries (along with strawberries, raspberries and quinces) are her favorite foods. They include rubber stoppers for security. They measure 2 & 1/8" total.
Because amber is the lightest of all gems, these are very lightweight on the ear, in spite of their dramatic appearance. They can be worn all day in comfort.
The faceted honey amber beads are 110 to 120 years old, but because I do not have an authenticity certificate, I am being conservative and calling them vintage rather than antique. Here is how you can tell genuine antique and vintage amber: it will have tiny abrasion marks at the bead holes from the thread or cable, as amber is one of the softest of all natural gemstones (a 2 out of 10 on the Mohs mineral scale of hardness, used in the gem trade). Because of these abrasions, I've covered them with filigree beadcaps, but they are there underneath. It will also have a weblike tracery of tiny fracture lines throughout the amber, which you can see in the close-ups, although the beads will remain intact. These 2 markers always distinguish genuine antique amber from Victorian and Edwardian-era synthetic resin amber imitations such as Bakelite (which now has value in its own right).
The last scan is a painting of the Goddess Freya, by the Victorian painter James Doyle Penrose. She is, appropriately, about to adorn herself with jewelry. This is her famous amber necklace named Brinsigamen, mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon epic of Beowulf.
All metals are 14kt. sterling vermeil. All the amber is genuine unprocessed Baltic amber. The honey amber is vintage faceted, the cherry amber is modern.
NOTE: all my original designs and text are sole property of Strega2 Jewelry and protected under title 17 of the copyright laws. Any copying, adaptation or infringement will result in legal action.
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