A democratic jewel

Antique medallion pendant of rolled gold, around 1880

In the course of the 19th century, a new group of buyers came to the attention of jewellery designers and producers with the financially and politically strengthening middle classes. Jewellery was no longer made only of precious gold and gemstones, but also cheaper materials were used, in which decorative designs could be realized according to all the fashions. The present medallion from around 1880 is such a piece, which at first glance appears to be made of gold. But it is actually made of only a thin layer of gold, so-called rolled gold, which was rolled onto a base metal under high pressure. Thus, in contrast to gold plating, it cannot be easily removed. At the same time, however, the core of the piece and the hinges etc. are made of durable metal, probably tombac, a brass alloy. Material combinations such as these were common in the 19th century to serve an increasingly large market in finely graduated price ranges. They found their place between genuine and costume jewelry. Two round inserts inside provide space for photos or other memorabilia. The locket came to us here in Berlin.

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.