Dating to c.1880-1890, this ribbon-motif brooch is set with a large, natural sapphire and studded with white old mine-cut diamonds!
Measuring a perfectly-proportioned 1 3/4" x 1", this exquisite brooch reminds me of the modern "ribbons for a cause" that have become so popular today, and this Victorian jewel also has a cause - 'cause it's so beautiful! The focal point of this lovely jewel is the gorgeous, natural Ceylon sapphire that takes center stage. This untreated stone measures 7.5 mm x 4.8 mm x 4.7 mm and weighs a calculated 1.46 carats on it's own!
The antique cut sapphire is the MOST luscious shade of medium royal blue, and displays the zoning and "silk" under 10x magnification which gives these special gemstones their depth of color. The sapphire is securely set with 13 long silver claws in an open-backed, "buttercup" style setting of sterling-grade silver (unmarked but tested). This sapphire pre-dates high heat treatment by over 60 years; this dazzling blue shade comes straight from Mother Nature!
Surrounding the sapphire is a halo of small but dazzling white old mine-cut diamonds; fifteen in all! The diamonds are gently graduated in size, ranging from 2 points (just below the sapphire) to 5 points (nine smallest in the halo) to 8 points for the five largest stones. It is impressive that these are all fully-cut diamonds and not rose-cuts or melees; the lapidary who crafted this brooch definitely opted for quality over size! The total carat weight of the diamonds adds up to .73 carat, for a total weight of 2.19 carats of beautiful antique gems!
As most collectors know, one cannot grade antique diamonds by modern GIA standards, but these diamonds are white and vibrant! Each diamond is set with four to eight long silver claws (more claws for the larger stones), and the silver settings have developed a fabulous patina which only the passing of generations can impart - I doubt if this brooch has ever been cleaned! The open work, textured silver frame finishes off this uniquely beautiful brooch.
The reverse of this jewel displays the original silver and 14k gold "T and C" clasp (maker's mark "NB"), as well as 14k gold and silver hooks above and below; this allows the brooch to be worn as a pendant for even more versatility! Weighing in at 10.71 grams, this jewel just lights up on a lapel or sweater, and the design is even more popular today than when it was first made of a lady of wealth and fashion over 130 years ago! SO RADIANT!
If you love the best in Victorian jewelry, this sapphire and diamond ribbon brooch will make a splendid addition to your collection! It would also make a superb holiday gift for that special lady, and will be shipped in a gift box. Most fine antique jewelry dealers would ask $3000 for the sapphire alone, but I got a good deal, so why shouldn't you? Do not miss this stunner; up to 90-day layaway is available, and USPS Priority mail shipping is FREE!
Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
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