Inseparable affection

Antique medallion with striped agates as pendant & brooch, around 1865

A large cabochon of striped agate captures the eye on the front of this locket. Similar to the inseparable affection of two lovers, the silvery white bands and the deep black of the agates are connected and hold together, come what may. This is how the ancient author Pliny already interpreted this wonderful semi-precious stone and saw it as a symbol of love and a sign of attachment. Its use in a medallion, the purpose of which is the lasting remembrance of loved ones, makes perfect sense. The oval pendant is made of gold-plated pinchbeck (see "Learn more") and juxtaposes the large agate with seven small agate cabochons that appear to be miniature versions of itself. Or are they small satellites orbiting around the fixed star in the center? The medallion has a glazed compartment on the back that holds intricately woven hair. The piece of jewellery, which can be worn both as a pendant and as a brooch, was made in Victorian England in the years around 1865, when jewellery in this form was a great fashion. The sentimental locket found its way to us here in Berlin.

A rather forgotten chapter of jewellery history today are the many substitutes for the expensive precious metals gold and silver that have been used over the centuries. The names of these inventions are legion, perhaps you have heard of Tombak or Alpacca, German silver or Argentan? In the 19th century, gold was often replaced by brass, alloys of copper and zinc. The London watchmaker Christopher Pinchbeck (ca. 1670 - November 18, 1732) invented a special alloy named after him, whose color was particularly close to gold and from then on became especially popular in England. On Christopher Pinchbek see Ginny Reddington Dawes / Olivia Collings: Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830, Woodbridge 2007, p. 80 pp. 39f.

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.