One drop of seawater

Wonderful aquamarine pendant of the Art Deco with diamond setting, around 1930

Aquamarines are rarely found in 19th century jewellery, but in the Art Deco of the 1920s and 1930s they experienced a surge in popularity. On the one hand, this light blue variety of beryl complemented the cool, elegant fashion of those years, the strict geometries and white designs made of platinum and diamonds - but on the other hand, it was distinguished by its ability to shine particularly brightly in electric light. This is often praised in the specialist literature of the early 20th century: "Aquamarine and other bright varieties of beryl are stones which lose none of their brilliance at night," wrote Arthur Herbert Church in 1913, and "All beryls are very brilliant in artificial light and therefore desirable stones for the evening," added Helen Bartlett Bridgman in 1915. This pendant now is a showpiece from the Art Deco period, when electric lights of the night illuminated cities, their bars and cabarets. Its showpiece is a powerful aquamarine weighing some 20 carats, held in a platinum setting with diamonds. The stone is cut in the so-called "briolet cut", which creates an all-round faceted drop from the rough crystal. By the way, this blue gemstone gets its name from its similarity to water - aqua marina is Latin for sea water. So it seems particularly resourceful that the aquamarine was cut into a drop here, which appears additionally brilliant due to its skilful faceting. The pendant was crafted from high-quality platinum and gold in keeping with its time and additionally rhodium-plated so that the metal shines in a festive white. We have therefore complemented it with a matching fine platinum chain so that it can be worn immediately. It is supplied in an antique shaped case from the jeweller Chapple & Mantell, 22 Strand, Charing Cross, London and a detailed appraisal report from the German Society for Gemstone Appraisal Idar-Oberstein. For comparison, we reproduce a pendant from the catalogue of the Pforzheim manufactory F. Todt from the 1931/32 season. The above quotes translated from Arthur Herbert Church: Precious stones considered in their scientific and artistic relations. A guide to the Townshend collection, London 1913 and Helen Bartlett Bridgman: Gems, New York 1915.

As the protective stone of seafarers, the gemstone of lovers or the stone that promises wisdom - for thousands of years, aquamarine has been one of the most highly valued gemstones. Already in ancient times, people revered it for its brilliance and its color, which is reminiscent of the sea and cloudless sky. According to tradition, it was also believed that the gemstone could appease the god of the sea, Poseidon: sailors therefore threw aquamarines overboard during raging storms to soothe the fury of the sea god. In the Middle Ages, aquamarines were placed in the reliquaries of saints, often as peepholes so that one could look inside the goldsmith's work, for aquamarines are usually particularly pure and without inclusions. The brightest, whitest beryls were even used to make spectacle lenses - which is where our word for them comes from!

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.


OUR PROMISE

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.

Play