Twinkle, twinkle...

Precious star brooch with diamonds in gold & silver, around 1880

Jewellery richly set with high-quality diamonds is one of the hallmarks of jewellery from the last third of the 19th century - but this development did not occur for purely stylistic reasons. The discovery of large diamond deposits in South Africa, which made the coveted gemstone more widely available, also played a role. After a farmer's boy had found the large Eureka diamond of 21.25 ct on the banks of the Orange River in 1866, diamonds began to be mined here in open-cast mines. All at once the displays of the jewellers in the big cities glittered in the bright light of countless diamonds. One such piece from the time of the great diamond boom is this star-shaped brooch. Approximately 2.42 ct of diamonds, presumably of South African origin, have been set in silver here. The gemstones have been shaped in historic old cuts so that each has individual proportions. They have been set in silver, the darkening of which makes them appear brighter and more brilliant. However, the back and the brooch are made of red gold so that they do not rub off. Stars and other celestial bodies were all the rage throughout Europe in the late 19th century, and hardly a jewelry catalog or jeweler's display of the time would not have offered at least one star. An advertisement by the British court jeweller Benson's, for example, promoted a very similar star brooch in the "Illustrated London News" in 1888 (see last illustration). But the stars worn by the Austrian Empress Sisi are also unforgotten - as big as the firmament, so widespread was this fashion in Europe, proving that even then fashions and tastes knew how to overcome the narrow borders of states in beauty.

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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.