Georgian Amethyst Earrings

$1,250.00
About Details History
Amethyst, the most valuable member of the quartz family, commanded a price equal to that of rubies and emeralds until the beginning of the 19th century, when rich deposits of the stone were discovered in Brazil (then a Portuguese colony). Amethyst takes its name from the Greek amethystos, which loosely translates to "not drunk" - the Ancient Greeks believed the stone could prevent inebriation, they also associated the gem with Bacchus (the god of wine) because of it's vaguely wine-colored hue. The lovely lilac-hued amethyst pendants of these earrings date to the end of the Georgian period. The foil-backed gems are mounted in a closed, dished settings. They are suspended from more contemporary tops fashioned in 14k gold and set with deeper purple round faceted amethysts.

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  • Materials: 14k gold (tests), 2 oval faceted 9mm x 6mm amethysts, 2 round faceted 2.8mm amethysts
  • Age: pendant bottoms c. 1800, tops are contemporary
  • Condition: Excellent - converted from a larger Georgian piece of jewelry at some point, probably a festoon
  • Size: 1" length measured from the top of the wire
  • Location: To see these earrings in person please visit our shop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.
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GEORGIAN (1714 - 1837) The Georgian Era was named for the English Kings George I, II, III and IV. Within the powerful nations of France and England, fine gemstone jewelry was worn only by the extremely wealthy, and the styles were regal and ornate. As imperialist war raged in the Americas, Caribbean, Australia, and beyond, the jewelry industry benefited: colored gems from all over the empire became newly available. A mix of artistic influences from around Europe contributed to the feminine, glittering jewels of the era. Dense, ornate Baroque motifs from Italy showed up in Georgian jewelry, as did French Rococo’s undulating flora and fauna. Neoclassical style made use of Greek and Roman motifs, which were newly popular due to the recently uncovered ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Lapidary methods improved: the dome-shaped rose cut was popular, as was the “old mine cut”, a very early iteration of today’s round brilliant cut. The boat-shaped marquise diamond cut was developed around this time, supposedly to imitate the smile of Louis XV’s mistress, the marquise de Pompadour. Paste—an imitation gemstone made from leaded glass—was newly developed in the 18th century, and set into jewelry with the same creativity and care as its more precious counterparts. Real and imitation gems were almost always set in closed-backed settings, lined on the underside with thin sheets of foil to enhance the color of the stone and highlight it's sparkle. This makes Georgian rings tough for modern women to wear, especially on an everyday basis: genteel, jewelry-owning ladies of the 18th century were not famous for working with their hands like we are. Nor did they wash their hands as much as we do. Water will virtually ruin a foiled setting, so take special care with your Georgian ring. Very little jewelry from this period is still in circulation, and it's very difficult to repair.
less
more

About Details History
Amethyst, the most valuable member of the quartz family, commanded a price equal to that of rubies and emeralds until the beginning of the 19th century, when rich deposits of the stone were discovered in Brazil (then a Portuguese colony). Amethyst takes its name from the Greek amethystos, which loosely translates to "not drunk" - the Ancient Greeks believed the stone could prevent inebriation, they also associated the gem with Bacchus (the god of wine) because of it's vaguely wine-colored hue. The lovely lilac-hued amethyst pendants of these earrings date to the end of the Georgian period. The foil-backed gems are mounted in a closed, dished settings. They are suspended from more contemporary tops fashioned in 14k gold and set with deeper purple round faceted amethysts.

less
more

  • Materials: 14k gold (tests), 2 oval faceted 9mm x 6mm amethysts, 2 round faceted 2.8mm amethysts
  • Age: pendant bottoms c. 1800, tops are contemporary
  • Condition: Excellent - converted from a larger Georgian piece of jewelry at some point, probably a festoon
  • Size: 1" length measured from the top of the wire
  • Location: To see these earrings in person please visit our shop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.
less
more
GEORGIAN (1714 - 1837) The Georgian Era was named for the English Kings George I, II, III and IV. Within the powerful nations of France and England, fine gemstone jewelry was worn only by the extremely wealthy, and the styles were regal and ornate. As imperialist war raged in the Americas, Caribbean, Australia, and beyond, the jewelry industry benefited: colored gems from all over the empire became newly available. A mix of artistic influences from around Europe contributed to the feminine, glittering jewels of the era. Dense, ornate Baroque motifs from Italy showed up in Georgian jewelry, as did French Rococo’s undulating flora and fauna. Neoclassical style made use of Greek and Roman motifs, which were newly popular due to the recently uncovered ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Lapidary methods improved: the dome-shaped rose cut was popular, as was the “old mine cut”, a very early iteration of today’s round brilliant cut. The boat-shaped marquise diamond cut was developed around this time, supposedly to imitate the smile of Louis XV’s mistress, the marquise de Pompadour. Paste—an imitation gemstone made from leaded glass—was newly developed in the 18th century, and set into jewelry with the same creativity and care as its more precious counterparts. Real and imitation gems were almost always set in closed-backed settings, lined on the underside with thin sheets of foil to enhance the color of the stone and highlight it's sparkle. This makes Georgian rings tough for modern women to wear, especially on an everyday basis: genteel, jewelry-owning ladies of the 18th century were not famous for working with their hands like we are. Nor did they wash their hands as much as we do. Water will virtually ruin a foiled setting, so take special care with your Georgian ring. Very little jewelry from this period is still in circulation, and it's very difficult to repair.
less
more