Here is a breathtaking antique diamond pendant that dates from the mid-Victorian era of the 1860's, and is destined to become a much loved and treasured family heirloom.
Hand made in 18 carat yellow gold and sterling silver on the top, the reason that silver was used on the top, was it was known that the yellow colour from the gold could artificially tint the diamonds, so often they were set in silver. And the other reason during this time that silver was used, was that it wouldn't be until the early 1900's that white gold was invented, and although platinum had already been discovered, there was not the technology to heat the platinum to a sufficient temperature to use it in jewellery, which was again in the early 1900's.
The time needed to make this piece entirely by hand would have been immense and is made even more incredible when it is realised that all of this was done without the modern jewellery equipment of today.
And then there are the diamonds themselves, which like the pendant were all cut by hand. In total there are 116 diamonds that total an astonishing 5.76 carats, and making up this pendant there are eight larger European cut diamonds and one hundred and eight single cut diamonds. Not only do these diamonds sparkle so incredibly, but they all work together to highlight the design of this pendant which would have no doubt been made for a family of very high standing.
The pendant measures 3.9cm across at the base by an amazing 8.5cm in length, and there is no doubt that this pendant is one that will be noticed from near or far, thanks not only to its regal design, but the sparkle given from all of the diamonds set into it.
Mid-Victorian antique diamond pendant
Mid-Victorian antique diamond pendant set with 116 genuine antique conflict-free diamonds.
What is a European cut diamond?
During the mid 19th century, the old European cut came into focus. This was an attempt to change the old mine cut stones into a more perfect round cut. These stones can be considered as the first true round brilliant cut diamonds. The facets from the old miners were kept in their same position, but changed shape to a more round and evenly shaped stone.
The culets became smaller, as it was realised that light could leak out from this point in the stone. The development of the modern brilliant cut occurred in the early part of the 20thcentury, with further modifications through the century. Diamond cutters apply the brilliant cut to other shapes, and this very exacting skill continues to enthrall craftsman and enthusiasts alike.
What are single cut diamonds?
These are small diamonds usually around 0.01 carats to 0.05 carats in size. They are often found on the shoulders of rings or surrounding a centre stone for example. While today modern technology will allow for a 0.01 carat diamond to have 58 facets and be a round brilliant cut diamond, single cut diamonds were used from the later part of the 19th Century up until around the 1930's-1940's. Commonly found with eight facets on the top (the crown) and eight facets on the bottom (the pavilion) these are sometimes found with total facets between 16 to 18.
Click here to see some more antique necklaces and pendants that are currently instore:
Click here for a link to the beautiful and historic Queen Victoria Building. We are on the top floor and are the only antique jewellery store in the building: