The Miracle of 'Miracle' Jewelry
inJanuary 14, 2009 - 5:28pm
“Miracle” is the trade name of A. Hill & Company LTD. of Birmingham, England, which started manufacturing jewelry in 1946 and is still the leading designer of jewelry in the Celtic, Irish and Scottish style. The Scottish association is not only from their Scottish Designs but also because some of their jewelry was manufactured at the mint in Edinburgh, Scotland. Most of the jewelry was exported.
Miracle Jewelry is the “real thing” in terms of evolving from actual historical and archaeological information. Archaeological excavations took place throughout England and jewelry from as early as AD600 have been found. Their Jewelry features such excellent construction that you know by looking at it that it will still be around centuries from now. The company employed highly skilled stone cutters, used the finest metals, and created beautiful designs. Many design styles influenced Miracle designs including the beautiful knot work design of the early Christian Irish manuscripts and Viking art. Other design styles include Victorian Agate jewelry, Victorian Gothic, Anglo-Saxon, English, Irish, Celtic, and Scottish.
Most of the jewelry was produced in OS (old silver finish) or OG (old gold finish) with faux stones, usually glass inlays or glass cabochons. The surface texture of the cabochons was uneven which resembled genuine gemstones. Two of the faux stones used were imitation cairngorm, a brown colored quartz, found in the highlands of Scotland, and wedge-shaped, simulated glass agate for inlay work resembled the traditional Scottish 19th century stone and silver “pebble” jewelry, which Queen Victoria was very fond of. Miracle wished to make their jewelry as authentic as possible and even assigned specific classifications to their simulated stones. For instance if an amethyst stone was used in a brooch it was not just a piece of clear purple glass but was marbled and showed slight color variation to imitate a genuine amethyst stone as close as possible. It would have been easier to just use a clear piece of amethyst colored glass. Looking at a Miracle piece you’ll see that the stones are a bit brighter and the metalwork is shinier compared to the genuine antique pieces. Miracle did employ real gems for their gold and sterling silver pieces.
Some Miracle jewelry has no cabochons, inlays, or enamels, and is referred to as “plain metal” with no decorations. Some of the designs used include English roses, Tudor roses, Saint George and the Dragon, a Heraldic Key, a portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, Chinese, African American, African, Egyptian, cherubs and royalty themes.
Shiman Bros. & Co. and S. Samuel & Co. are two USA companies that used the Miracle trademark. A. Hill may have sold licenses to companies in other countries to manufacture, sell, or distribute their pieces. At one time, this jewelry was in San Francisco.
The “Sol D’Or" (sun of gold) mark, found on some Miracle jewelry is a trademark of A. Hill, and for the most part, distributed in Ireland. Variations of the mark are: Sol D’Or Miracle and Sol D’Or Britain. This company had a long-standing connection with A. Hill/Miracle and purchased some of their castings. That is why both company signatures may appear on a piece of jewelry.
Miracle jewelry is marked in several ways.
The classic Scottish or Celtic-inspired designs (round brooches with faux cabochon inlays) are the trademark styles of Miracle jewelry with numerous different colored glass stones. If you love the landscapes of England, Ireland, and Scotland, I think you’ll also be fond of this jewelry.
‘The Jewelry Diva’ by Ruby Lane shop owner Cindy Amirkhan - A Twinkle in Time.
Cindy opened her shop in 2002 and has sold many beautiful and unique pieces of jewelry over the years, and she continues to dazzle her customers with new items and quality service. Cindy shares her extensive knowledge of vintage and costume jewelry with you, including historical information, styles, designers and more. We are certain you will enjoy her monthly column as much as we do. The Editors of Notes from the Lane.