Cluster of Excellence

Vintage cluster earclips with sapphires & diamonds in white gold, circa 1970

This exquisite pair of earclips in white gold exudes the optimistic spirit of the Sixties with its gemstone set and typical design language. In the mid-decade, expressive arrangements with jaggedly expressive lines were popular in jewelry design. Diamonds were as popular as ever, but they were increasingly combined with colored stones such as rubies or, in this case, deep blue sapphires. The typical cluster jewelry features a flowing band of white diamonds on each of its fronts, following the curve of the earlobe. Eight sapphires fan out in opposite directions. Seven sapphires in an elongated navette cut are grouped around a round-faced stone, creating a radiant appearance that many pieces of jewellery from this period display. The gemstones are held in place by the typical lobes of the time, the ends of which are rounded like spheres and add further sparkling highlights to the ear jewellery. The interplay of high-quality sapphires, more than one carat of brilliant-cut diamonds and high-carat white gold creates a piece of jewellery that exemplifies the formal language of the Swinging Sixities. Similar pieces of jewellery can also be found in David Bennet and Daniela Mascetti: Understanding Jewellery, Woodbridge 2010, on page 414.

The sapphire is a truly royal stone. Even more frequently than the ruby, it adorns the crowns of the monarchies of Europe: the English state crown sparkles in the light of 18 beautiful stones, and that of the Bohemian king Wenceslas has just as many. And yet it shares many properties with the ruby, because for the mineralogist both stones belong to the group of corundum. The most famous sapphires in the world come from Kashmir, where today only a few sapphires are mined. Kashmir sapphires show a powerful cornflower blue and have a so-called "sleepy", slightly milky character. Sapphires from other sites show different shades of blue: stones from Mianmar, which can also reach the highest qualities, tend more towards an ultramarine. Sapphires from Sri Lanka tend to shine in a lighter, sky-blue tone. Sapphires from both locations tend to show stronger inclusions. It should not be forgotten, however, that sapphires can be more than just blue! Because like the ruby, the sapphire belongs to the corundum group. Since in mineralogy all corundums except the red ruby are called sapphires, yellow, green and orange sapphires are encountered in addition to the blue varieties. These stones, if they have an outstanding quality in color and freedom from inclusions, also fetch high prices in the trade. The pink to orange variety of sapphire is particularly sought after: these stones come exclusively from Sir Lanka and are known as Padparadscha. Today, however, the colour of stones from other regions is often altered by technical treatment and then also sold as padparadscha. In popular belief, the sapphire is considered the stone of truth, loyalty, prudence and reason. Accordingly, the Doge of Venice wore such a mild blue stone as a sign of his fidelity and marriage to the sea, set in gold. And Queen Elizabeth I of England also believed that her sapphire could protect her against slander and cunning.

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.

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