Fantastic demi-parure antique Victorian Etruscan Revival high-karat 21K yellow gold hard-stone sardonyx cameo necklace/brooch and matching pierced ear pendants. This large pendant and matching earrings have a nice sturdy weight and feel, with THE ORIGINAL softly frosted "bloomed gold" patina, never disturbed or refinished! The hard-stone sardonyx cameos have lovely detail and are hand carved from one single piece of stone. You can see where the carver oriented the cutting to reveal the natural color variation in the layers that go from a very deep orangy red (the background) to a soft creamy white (the foreground). Etruscan Revival decorations with milgrained bead-work and fine twisted rope accents. There are three elongated teardrops dangling from the bottom of the pendant. Measures 3-1/4" in length x 1" in width and weighs 13 grams.
The pierced ear pendants measure 1-1/2" long (not including the length of the lever back wires)- 2" total length, x 3/4" width, and weigh 8 grams. WE HAVE ADDED new 14k gold-lever back ear wires, hallmarked "14K" on the edges, and also included an 18" long 14k chain for the pendant.
The condition of the set is truly incredible and very well cared for. The cameos shows no chips, nicks, or wear, the gold mountings, and the beads are all in PERFECT condition! There is a very faint scuff on one of the long teardrops. The clasp works perfectly and securely, the long pin stem itself is nickle (white metal). Typical of the majority of authentic antique Victorian jewels (particularly hand crafted pieces such as this), the pieces are not gold hallmarked, but have been carefully tested by TWO separate independent jewelers to guarantee a minimum 21K gold content and quality. Circa 1890 to 1900. High karat Victorian jewels are extremely difficult to find, and we are pleased to be able to present this set in such wonderful condition.
"BLOOMED GOLD"- The frosted finish or satin finish of bloomed gold is the result of bathing the gold in acid. This finishing technique is typically seen on turn of the century Victorian and Edwardian jewelry, although it dates back to its original use in the mid 1800s. The recipe involved boiling the gold in a mixture of salt, water, hydrochloric (muriatic) acid, and salt petre (potassium nitrate). The process created extremely tiny scarring in the surface of the gold which left a matte finish resembling peach skin- and referred to as "bloomed-gold". The finish was also used on only portions of a piece of jewelry, creating a dramatic contrast to a highly polished background or foreground.