The Victorians loved symbolism and naturalism, and some have speculated the shell operculum was a talisman to protect the wearer against the evil eye. Also esteemed in the 19th c. were all kinds of natural specimens as exotic and bizarre adornments, such as iridescent beetles and hummingbird heads. This is the loveliest operculum brooch I have found. The simple engraved design and warm glow of fine gold applaud the natural beauty of the porcelain-like shell. It measures 1 & 1/2 by 1 & 3/8 inches, and is in excellent condition.