A diamond garden

Elegant diamond bracelet with sapphires, around 1920

White shining bracelets, set with radiant diamonds, were the great passion of the early 20th century. Every lady who could afford it wore such treasures - often not only individually, but combined to a radiant arrangement of pure luxury on her wrist. This is how we know the Hollywood stars of those years in old black-and-white photographs, which shapes our idea of the Femme Fatal of those years to this day. This bracelet with about 1.21 ct of diamonds is from that era. Around a central old European cut diamond, other large and small diamonds in historic cuts are set, held in place by delicate bars. Partly set individually like blossoms, partly in leaf shapes clearly inspired by the Art Nouveau, they blossom before our eyes like a mysterious garden. Blue luminescent bands of sapphires add a hint of an enchanting night to the composition. The bracelet is forged from fine silver and has already been additionally rhodium-plated in earlier times. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was customary to make jewels with diamonds from silver, as platinum and white gold were not yet available. With warmly sparkling gold, on the other hand, the desired impression of cool brilliance could not have been achieved. In the course of its history, the bracelet was imported to Graz in Austria, where it was mistaken for gold. An error on the part of the assaying authority, which may easily be understood: For as rich as its appointments are, one might not expect any silver at all without a knowledge of historical jewellery techniques.

"Brilliant feats of engineering are today's synthetic stones, which often can only be distinguished from genuine stones by even the expert after laborious examination. Especially popular among these elaborate creations are spinels in the color of aquamarine, with an enchanting clarity and translucency. Set in real silver, the ripeness of rings of real gold, they excite undivided admiration!" (From a 1939 jewellery catalog) In 1902, August Verneuil developed a previously unthinkable technique for growing gemstones in the laboratory that revolutionized the jewellery world of the early century. The spinels created in specially designed apparatus could hardly be distinguished from natural sapphires and rubies in terms of structure and colour - and from around 1920 became the "dernier cri", the "must have" of the fashion world. The gemstone in this piece is such an early syntheric spinel, grown using the new Verneuil process. Its beautiful, intense color delights as soon as the stone sparkles in the light.

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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.