Take an exquisite antique Victorian cameo, team it up with the rich tones of tanzanite and then let it sizzle together with gold. What a winning combination.
The antique Victorian 9 carat gold cameo was originally a brooch, which I had altered to a pendant because I thought it made much more of a statement as a pendant. The finely carved cameo is of Bacchant, a female votary of Bacchus. She wears a garland of leaves on her head, with tendrils of hair curling underneath the leaves. The cameo is set in 9 carat gold, with a rope design surrounding the oval cameo. It is just over 1½ inches long and just over 1 ¼ inches wide. It is unmarked gold, as many Victorian pieces were left unmarked, but it has been tested at 9 carat gold.
Tanzanite is the blue to violet variety of the mineral zoisite. It is a fairly “new” gemstone, discovered in 1967 by a gold prospector named Manuel de Souza. It is mined commercially only in one area of the world: at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, which is where it gets its name. But because it is found only in a small area of Tanzania, it is a rare stone. The Tanzanian government regulates its mining and selling very strictly. This means that the industry has remained sustainable and ethical. As a result, the country’s economy and local communities benefit from its production and sale. According to Massai tribe lore, tanzanite is considered a spiritual stone; it inspires compassion and calmness. Tanzanite is the birthstone of December, a possible present for the winter.
The tanzanite beads are faceted and graduated. The largest bead is 8.4mm and the smallest is 3mm.
I have also added vintage 18 carat handmade, traditionally crafted gold beads from Afghanistan. The largest bead is 7mm and the smaller beads are 6mm. The Afghani have been crafting gold for centuries. When Alexander the Great came to Afghanistan, his people brought many skills, one of which was working in gold. Like the Romans, centuries later, a yellow, 18 ct gold was used. But one of the techniques was to take sheet gold and work it onto hardened resin and then decorate it accordingly. For me, this handiwork and yellow gold colour gives the necklace warmth and character and complements the gems.
The clasp is a 14carat gold toggle clasp. I prefer using toggle clasps because they are easy to use and quite secure.
The necklace is 18 ½ inches long with a 1 ½ inch pendant drop.
The necklace comes, like all my necklaces, with it's own silk brocaded pouch bag, made by the Shanghai tailor.
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Unique, stunningly chic gemstone necklaces, known as wearable art
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