Splendid antique diamond necklace in silver & gold, around 1880
Shining like ice crystals, the diamonds sparkle in the light. Stylised leaves, elegantly curved, sway in the wind like branches dusted with snow, glisten in the wintry sun and yet lie soft and warm against the skin. This necklace takes us on an excursion into a world of ice and crystal - a winter world full of beauty and its very own magic. The elegant magnificent yet not too large diamond necklace was created from silver and gold in the late 19th century. It was the goldsmith's aim to make the precious stones shine as bright and white as possible. To achieve this, he used the most modern techniques of his time. The diamonds were set in silver so that no yellow gold luster would dull their color. Platinum or white gold were not yet available, which is why silver was the material of choice here until the turn of the century. At the same time, the back of the necklace is made of yellow gold so as not to leave any discolouration on skin or clothing. The goldsmith was able to implement the finest details, such as the fine bars of the diamond-studded chain on the right and left of the middle section, which appear infinitely delicate when viewed from above, even though they form the necklace in a strong and stable manner. In addition, all the stones are set open at the back. Throughout the 19th century, diamonds were almost always set in settings that were closed at the back, as this was technically easier to accomplish. It was not until the end of the century that new techniques made it possible to set the stones only at the edge without contact to the metal along the entire back. This greatly increases the brilliance of the diamonds and also allows the pieces to be cleaned more easily: But this technique required a mastery that at first only a few gem-setters had mastered. In the design and realization of the necklace, the technical development of the time and a design that matches the materials thus go hand in hand to form a perfect, happy union - and still delight in this today.
With the invention of gaslight and then electric light at the end of the 19th century, glistening brightness suddenly filled the ballrooms of Europe. No longer dark, yellow candlelight, but the white glow of hundreds of lamps made the ladies' jewellery shine and glitter as never before. No wonder that as a result of these developments, a new fashion also emerged: white jewels made of diamonds and silver responded to the new lighting conditions and replaced the previous more colourful designs. In general, jewellery was increasingly richly set with sparkling gems to create an ever more luxurious and rich appearance. At the great balls in Paris, London and St. Petersburg, ever more magnificent diamond necklaces were presented, as well as tiaras, brooches and rings, all dreams in white diamonds. The name of the era, the Belle Époque, still indicates the goal of the period: To shine in beauty. But the fashion for white jewellery also remained current in the following decades, right up to the Art Déco of the 1920s. Only the materials of the settings changed. The rapidly tarnishing silver was first replaced by platinum settings and later by jewellery made entirely of platinum or white gold, which was developed shortly after the World War.
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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.