Georgian Gem-Set Necklace, ca. 1830

Value (2010) | $7,000 Auction$9,000 Auction
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GUEST:
Our folks were antique jewelers in Hyde Park in Chicago in the 1930s and '40s. And this was just passed down and it's one of the treasures that I've received from the family. My folks did not tell us what it was worth or anything, so I'm basically quite clueless.

APPRAISER:
I was at first really impressed with the color scheme. We've got pink stones here and really pale green stones. Without a refractive index, it's hard to say 100% today, but I'm going to say that these are most likely a green beryl, which is in the emerald family. These pink stones, they could be one of two things. This is either morganite, which is pink beryl...

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Or precious topaz.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
I have a feeling it's morganite. I believe it's circa 1830. We can see these foil backings on the back of the pink stones. This is one of the techniques that the jewelers use to make the stone more intensely colored. This is in a gold foil. It's a very thin sheet that's put on the back of the stone.

GUEST:
All right.

APPRAISER:
But we have the green stones here that are open. So it's just sort of a play of color that the jeweler has used. We also were looking at these beautiful beads here. And this is very typical of jewelry that was made in that time period. We in America call it Georgian jewelry.

GUEST:
Georgian?

APPRAISER:
Yes. But it's really pretty bead work and very delicate culets around each of the stones. So these really take the place of prongs. The pendant is another great piece right here. There's some evidence of a pin stem on the back.

GUEST:
I noticed that, yes.

APPRAISER:
So what this was originally was a brooch/pendant. So it was sort of a convertible. It could be made to be worn as a brooch or a necklace here attached. At one point in time I believe the jeweler probably soldered it back on so it would be a permanent pendant. Most likely there were also earrings that went with this, and possibly a bracelet. It doesn't have any hallmarks or marks on it.

GUEST:
Oh, it doesn't?

APPRAISER:
No, so it's hard for us to say exactly where it was made. Possibly American, but we really have no definitive answer to that. It's a really beautiful necklace, wearable even in today's fashions. I would say auction estimate, you'd be looking at $7,000 to $9,000.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
Yes, absolutely.

GUEST:
Oh, the family will be so pleased. My mother would just cry. This is beautiful. I can just imagine a beautiful lady wearing this with a long gown and dancing the night away.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Freeman's Auctioneers
Philadelphia, PA
Appraised value (2010)
$7,000 Auction$9,000 Auction
Event
Billings, MT (June 26, 2010)
Form
Necklace

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