American Filigree

Antique filigree bracelet with diamonds in white gold, USA around 1925

Jewelry in elegant, cool and noble white - that has been the dream of jewelry designers since the late 19th century. But technical possibilities put a stop to this dream for some time. White diamonds were available, but the tricky point was the question of the right metal. At first, silver was used as the metal for setting the precious stones, but silver tarnishes and loses its white luster - around the turn of the century, platinum was used. The patent for white gold was not registered until 1913 by Karl Richter in Pforzheim. In the USA, however, it was David Belais who was working on an alloy for white gold at about the same time. He had this patented in 1918 - and so the present bracelet from the USA cannot be dated earlier. In fact, the bracelet is quite an early example of an American white gold jewelry and shows the fine design language of the American Art Deco. It is typical that the individual elements of the band are not solid, but openworked like lace. This creates a particularly light, filigree impression. The theme of precious white is taken up by three small old-cut diamonds, which together weigh about 0.20 carats and please with very nice quality. The bracelet is very well preserved and a wonderful and yet very wearable jewelry from the years of the Great Gatsby!

The name Belais is associated with one thing above all in the USA: White gold. For under David Belais, who founded the company in 1863, they experimented for many years with gold alloys that would combine the white color of platinum with the advantages of gold. But when Belais registered his patent in 1918, he was already ahead of the German Karl Richter of Pforzheim, who had registered his own, somewhat different patent for white gold in 1913. Due to the World War, however, Richter's invention was hardly used in the USA for the time being, and so it was ultimately the name Belais that became synonymous with high-carat white gold in North America.

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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.

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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.

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