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The handmade earrings are handmade of yellow 18 karat gold and circa dated as 1850. The ear wires have been replaced because of weakness of the original wires, this is not unusual in Victorian Earrings. The motifs of the earrings are flower petals circling (6) 2 mm seed pearl forming a Forget me knot flower. These would not be a mourning item of jewelry, probably a gift of love, with the message of "Remember Me". Pearls in traditional Victorian Jewelry mean "Modest Loveliness”.
The dangles on the earrings are pendant dangles of nature Rock Crystals. The crystals are hand faceted and one inch long.
Pearls, in fact, played the pivotal role at the most celebrated banquet in literature. To convince Rome that Egypt possessed a heritage and wealth that put it above conquest, Cleopatra wagered Marc Antony she could give the most expensive dinner in history. The Roman reclined as the queen sat with an empty plate and a goblet of wine (or vinegar). She crushed one large pearl of a pair of earrings, dissolved it in the liquid, and then drank it down. Astonished, Antony declined his dinner—the matching pearl—and admitted she had won. Pliny, the world's first gemologist, writes in his famous Natural History that the two pearls were worth an estimated 60 million sesterces, or 1,875,000 ounces of fine silver ($9,375,000 with silver at $5/ounce). In the Georgian time period and much earlier, finding a valuable pearl requires as much luck as skill. And in their quest for both pearls and mother-of-pearl, people have sometimes taken extraordinary measures. For many centuries, divers for marine pearls had to outmaneuver sharks and other dangers to locate the pearl oysters they hoped would contain natural pearls. The small seed pearl was desired by England and the Eastern United States.
Information on Natural Rock Crystal:
The word "quartz" comes from the German Quarz, which is of Slavic origin (Czech miners called it křemen). Other sources attribute the word's origin to the Saxon word Querkluftertz, meaning cross-vein ore.
Quartz is the most common material identified as the mystical substance maban in Australian Aboriginal mythology. It is found regularly in passage tomb cemeteries in Europe in a burial context, such as Newgrange or Carrowmore in Ireland. The Irish word for quartz is grian cloch, which means 'stone of the sun'. Quartz was also used in Prehistoric Ireland, as well as many other countries, for stone tools; both vein quartz and rock crystal were knapped as part of the lithic technology of the prehistoric peoples.
The earrings are 2 inches long including the wires and 1/2 of an inch wide. They are in excellent condition and strong to wear with the new 14 karat gold lever back wires. The current value for insuring would be $2,700.00 as of September 2016.