Cut steel jewelry played an important role as secondary jewelry because it was considerbly cheaper than gemstones, especially diamonds. Like diamonds, it reflected flickering candlelight in every facet. Its popularity was evident in the late 1700s. Tiny studs of steel were cut with many facets as possible and riveted to a plate of steel or other inexpensive metals. Note the reverse of each item to see the rivets.
If you look at necklaces and bracelets as well as earrings such as this pair, we can appreciate all the time and detail that was devoted to the manufacture of this jewelry. The demand for cut steel jewelry grew in both England and France. Cheap labor was available and the fashion drove the manufacture of an unknown quantity of these gems. As time went on, the quality diminished and demand fell as well.
We are always on the lookout for quality pieces that are easy to wear and are totally with signs of rust. Pieces with rust are not easy to clean and are far less valuable. We will show other examples of the finest quality.
The earrings are unusual and illustrate a variety of cuts and sizes of the studs which created a more brilliant effect. The upper round portion of the earrings measures one inch in diameter. Overall they measure 2 1/2 inches in length. The wires and dangles are original. They weigh 17.8 grams. There is a renewed demand for the best pieces. This renewed demand has driven up the prices as well.