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Jewellery Definitions

FLEUR-DE-LYS: means “flower of light” and is the French symbol of Life & Power. It is designed from nature’s Iris flower and is a symbol found on many Victorian, Edwardian and Art Nouveau pieces which has been carried into modern design

LAVALIER:  A light scaled necklace usually consisting of a pendant or pendants suspended from a chain. IN the 1890-1910 era, it usually had a baroque (irregular shape) pearl appendage. The word is probably derived from the Duchess de la Valliere, a mistress of Louis XIV.

MICROMOSAIC: a term used to describe how minute pieces of glass ('tessarae') are used to form a picture. It was common in mid to late Victorian jeweler and mostly originated from Italy.

REPOUSSE:  From the French word “pousser”: to push. The decoration is raised from the back in relief by hammers and punches.

WHITBY JET: The Victorians were very sentimental and this was lead by Queen Victoria whose choice of dress and jewellery was highly regarded. She lived the last 40 years of her life in mourning after Prince Alfred died. She wore black clothing so black jewellery was the only choice. An entire industry grew around the mining and carving of jet, a fossilised coal found near the town of Whitby in England, hence its name. Imitations were made: French jet, a black glass and vulcanite, a hardened rubber, are just two of many. But they are not as valuable or as sought after as Whitby Jet.

Whitby jet is a material that can no longer be mined which means it will become increasingly rare over years to come - a fabulous investment or simply wear and enjoy!

Antique Gold and Jewels
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