Hester Georgian Pendant
This one-of-a-kind necklace is composed of:
Georgian dress pin from the early 1800s with paste diamond stones set in a step-cut sterling silver setting. This pin, although hanging vertically from its original horizontal design, was known as a Halley's Comet dress pin during it's time - named after the infamous celestial being that passes earth every 75-79 years. This piece was sourced from England.
This necklace measures a standard 18" on a 14k solid gold chain with 16" shortening ring. The pendant drops 1" from the necklace.
Halley’s Comet jewelry was incredibly popular in the 1800-1900s as a celebration of Halley’s Comet sightings in 1835 and again in 1910.
After the 1835 sighting, Georgian jewelers began creating Halley’s Comet pins, which were influenced by the shape of the comet - as it approached the sun, it heated up and produced a tail that streaks away from the comet's head.
The first of these celestial jewelry pins were crafted out of diamonds, emeralds, high carat golds - which only the upper classes could afford. Soon after, closed foil-backed, colorful paste, rock crystal, and gems such as amethyst, garnet and turquoise were created, making these treasures more financially accessible. During the Victorian era, Halley’s Comet pins remained popular, due in part to the Victorians love of astronomy and celestial motifs. After the next sighting in 1910, Edwardian jewelers created brooches that featured less ornate gold work and concentrated on more complex, yet streamlined, heads and tails, either laden with diamonds, sapphires, or rubies.
This piece in particular has a features a larger black dot paste stone: black dot paste is is man-made stone which has a tiny black dot "painted" on the very bottom underside of the stone. When these stones were set in the 1800s, often pitch or similar sticky material was utilized to anchor the stone during setting. This black then shows through. It is thought to have mimicked the open culet of early diamond cuts, which often look quite dark or black. The culet is the bottom of the stone, where in today's modern stone cuts all the facets come to a perfect point. In years past, the facets did not meet in a point but joined around a flat area on the bottom. Black dot paste is one hallmark of very fine quality paste.
All of our modern heirlooms are designed with elements mostly from the late 1800s - 1920s and the highest quality solid gold and gold-filled components. To learn more about different types of gold and composition, check out our Gold Jewelry Guide.
We make, design, and restore each piece of jewelry with the hope you will love and enjoy your modern heirlooms for many years to come. Check out our Jewelry Care Guide for tips on how to care for your pieces so they last a lifetime.
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