Featured Questions about antique seed pearl brooch & earrings

Discussion in 'Jewelry' started by Joan, Jan 5, 2024.

  1. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    AntiquePearlPin&Earrings-1.jpg AntiquePearlPin&Earrings-2.jpg AntiquePearlPin&Earrings-2a.jpg AntiquePearlPin&Earrings-3.jpg AntiquePearlPin&Earrings-4.jpg AntiquePearlPin&Earrings-5.jpg AntiquePearlPin&Earrings-6.jpg AntiquePearlPin&Earrings-8.jpg
    I bought this set about 12 years ago for $20 thinking it was probably Victorian, and possibly natural pearls, but not gold since it's not marked. I've had it stored away, but decided to get it out and see if I could find anything similar online.

    I found a similar brooch that sold on eBay for $1250 "Antique Victorian 14k-15k Yellow Gold Pave Seed Pearl Pin Brooch" so I decided to do a gold test on mine and even the 22K acid didn't completely dissolve the streak of gold (although my testing acid is old, so maybe not reliable). Could it be gold plated?

    Since the pin stem is long, could it be from the Georgian era, or is it Victorian? I'm away from home for a week, and don't have it with me, so I can't look closer for any marks, but I'm pretty sure there aren't any.
  2. Marie Forjan

    Marie Forjan Well-Known Member

    Those are gorgeous! Did you test them with 14k acid?

    Check the ear wires and inside the c-clasp, do you see anything where I've circled?

    If no marks and you're not sure about the test results take it to a jeweler who will test it for you just so you know :)

    I hope you wear them, they are special!

    komokwa, Lucille.b, Bronwen and 2 others like this.
  3. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Marie. I did test with 14k and 18k acid, which didn't dissolve the gold. I'll check the ear wires and C clasp where you circled when I get home next weekend--thank you for mentioning that. I don't wear jewelry anymore, and would probably be afraid to wear them even if I did for fear of one or more of the pearls falling out.
  4. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    Definitely older than dirt and definitely pearl. Maybe Georgian rather than Victorian. Even now, not everybody marks everything. Oh @Ownedbybear !!!! Smaug says come take a look!
    Gus Tuason, KSW, Dessert58 and 6 others like this.
  5. Ownedbybear

    Ownedbybear Well-Known Member

    Yum. Those earrings are so well made, too. I’m inclined to late Georgian into early Victorian. They’re less fussy than later ones and designed to show off the pearls. Which will be real.
    KSW, Dessert58, kyratango and 5 others like this.
  6. mirana

    mirana Well-Known Member

    Yep, those are stunning. I would own and wear those in a heartbeat. Really amazing looking!
    KSW, kyratango, Lucille.b and 3 others like this.
  7. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    Thank you all so much for your comments and to those who said real pearls and late Georgian or early Victorian. Does anyone know how the pearls are attached? I'm wondering if they're each drilled and glued onto a post. Or are they strung on a wire and then the wire is somehow wired to the base.
    Bronwen and johnnycb09 like this.
  8. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    Not glued for sure. Possibly wired.
    Bronwen and Joan like this.
  9. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't that originally been part of a parure?

    Bronwen and Joan like this.
  10. mirana

    mirana Well-Known Member

    They look like they have individual clawed collet settings, no?
    kyratango, Bronwen and Joan like this.
  11. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    I imagine it could have had a matching necklace and a bracelet or two.
    kyratango and Bronwen like this.
  12. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    It doesn't seem like the settings hug the pearls or are high enough to hold them securely like prongs or a bezel setting would.
    Bronwen likes this.
  13. Lucille.b

    Lucille.b Well-Known Member

    Absolutely STUNNING!! Breathtaking.

    I'm not sure how different jewelers test, if you have a jeweler you use and trust, probably okay. But I'm remembering a horror story from the Ebay jewelry boards a few years ago. Someone had a mystery piece, looked very high quality and possibly quite old, seemed to be testing at 22K, the jeweler was so sure it was plated, somehow they talked the owner into doing a deep scratch to prove their point. Well, it WAS 22K, but now it had a big scratch! Just be sure you ask how they test if you go that route.

    If you don't use a jeweler and selling, you could also show the results from the 14K and the 18K and the 22K and let the buyer see the acid test. It's pretty clear from the photos the extreme quality in these.

    Remind me what you paid? $20? Great eye 12 year ago!!
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2024
    Dessert58, Joan and kyratango like this.
  14. mirana

    mirana Well-Known Member

    Yikes! All the jewelers I know have XRF machines so no sampling necessary. I definitely recommend that route.
    kyratango likes this.
  15. Ownedbybear

    Ownedbybear Well-Known Member

    They’re often on a sort of spike thing.
    Joan and mirana like this.
  16. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Lucille. I bought it in a small town antique mall. It was in a glass case and my eyes were immediately drawn to it, but since it wasn't marked, I didn't think it was karat gold. I'd been interested in antique and vintage jewelry for years and used to pore over Warman's Jewelry book and others before I discovered Google, eBay, and Antiquers.

    I've only used a jeweler for testing gold a couple of times. She has a small studio and doesn't have an XRF machine, but has a Mizar electronic gold tester. She used it to test a platinum necklace that was marked in Chinese and an Italian enameled gold circle pin that was half-marked 14k on the pin stem. The Mizar confirmed 14k on the pin stem and the jeweler said the circle part was higher than 14k, possibly 18k, but she couldn't say definitely.

    Since you mentioned the story about the mystery piece that tested 22k, I'm thinking my set could actually be 22k also, so I'll have it tested, but I don't know how accurate the Mizar tester is for high karat gold.
    komokwa likes this.
  17. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    I wondered about the pearls being drilled and mounted on a spike/post, but the pearls are so close together and in uneven sizes that I seems like a jeweler would have to solder each post and mount each pearl one at a time, and I don't know if that can be done without damaging the pearls that are already mounted.
  18. Dessert58

    Dessert58 Well-Known Member

    Omg! This is a to die for set!
    I would say early Victorian. Late Georgian and early Victorian styles flow into each other.
    Could very well be there used to be bracelets, necklace but these earrings and brooch are already a very nice demi-parure.
    I don't really care if its 22/18/14 carat gold. Its gold! its amazing quality! Its 200 years old! In my opinion exact carat would really not matter value-wise. If you ever sell them, you would not sell them for scrap value.
    mirana and komokwa like this.
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