This stunning brooch dating from the later 1800s has an unusual combination of gemstones: a fabulous central round-cut amethyst (diameter: 1.1cm) is surrounded by an engraved stylised foliate chain of pear-cut almandine garnets (each approx 7 x 12mm) nestling amid vine leaves.
We have carefully tested the reverse which reacts positively for 22-carat gold, which has been laid over a nine-carat gold base; if you look very closely you can see where the rich high-carat gold has rubbed to reveal a more rosy-tinted gold underneath around the hinge on the back. Applying a higher carat "wash" was not an unusual practice at the time this was made - so be careful when buying apparently 22 carat gold items!
Three raised stars (one under the C clasp) can be found on the reverse; we are unfamiliar with this as a maker's mark. There are also tiny loops edging the bottom which could have suspended dangles or perhaps even indicates this was once part of a larger piece such as a necklace. If converted, it appears to have happened well over a century ago; the long pin, C clasp and tube hinge are all indicative of a Victorian provenance.
The brooch measures 4.1cm across in total, weight: 12.6g.
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