Wow! These stunning earrings are, perhaps, the BEST we've seen of 1800's coral earrings.
What makes them so very special is that the color, a rich salmon shade, is so complimentary to all complexions and the elegant convertible design means they can be worn as either a very sedate small earring or as somewhat bolder dangle. It makes them very versatile as well as serving as a prime example of 19th century fashion jewelry.
Note: The color is a very soft deep pinkish salmon. On my computer the photos look more orange. They are not orange at all. The last photo shows the actual color best.
Set in 14K gold (tested and not marked) other antique features include faceting of the upper portion. The faceting is much like the type done at that time for rose cut diamonds. They feature very secure 'locking' French backs. We date these earrings as Victorian period, however, they may be as early as the preceding Georgian era.
As you can see by the photos, the long dangle part can easily be taken off such that you can wear just the top 'button' style part by itself. The top portion surrounds the faceted coral with a scalloped design. The gold closest to the coral looks like delicate beading. This type of earring that can separate like this is sometimes referred to as a day and night earring.
Together they weigh 7.8 gm which makes them very easy on the ears to wear. They measure 2 1/8" long. The top portion measures 1/2" in diameter.
As an aside, historically, coral has been revered as a gemstone for thousands of years. The more modern era begins in the Georgian period and the many special qualities attributed to coral saw a huge fashion upsurge throughout the European continent.
Just a few of the special qualities attributed to coral include its healing powers, its ability to bring harmony and balance to one's life, it can strengthen self-esteem, it can aid in digestion, it can bring prosperity, etc., etc. These attributes translated into a multitude of fashion statements from earrings to full parures (sets of jewelry including necklace, ring, earrings, bracelet, brooch). Even baby rattles included coral to promote good health.
These earrings are such a beautiful and timeless example of the best of antique jewelry.
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