Antique Edwardian 14k bloomed gold 1.90 carat purple amethyst brooch pin signed Hayden W. Wheeler. Gorgeous bloomed gold mounting with Greek Key and raised leaf elements. The rectangular cushion cut amethyst measures 12mm x 6mm x 4.5mm (1.90 carat) and has a rich well saturated purple color. The pin measures 1-1/4" x 9/16" and weighs 3.8 grams. On the back, the pin bears the maker mark of Hayden W. Wheeler and is hallmarked "14K". With a fold over locking safety clasp. Amethyst is the birthstone of the month of February. This piece can also be worn as a necklace by suspending it on your favorite chain through the back of the pin assembly in a vertical direction. In outstanding condition, very well babied, circa 1910.
About the maker: Hayden W. Wheeler- (New York, New York). Established 1852. "They were manufacturers of watch cases and 'seamless gold rings which they manufactured from full quality gold'. They also made other jewelry and were importers of diamonds, pearls, watches, and watch cases. The last record found was 1931."- American Jewelry Manufacturers by Dorothy T. Rainwater.
"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.