This rare Georgian diamond necklace likely began its life as a component of an earring that was broken apart sometime before it came our way. We loved the beautiful stone and flash of its foiled back, so we recycled it by adding a delicate chain in yellow gold to the original sterling setting.
New discoveries in South American sterling mines of the 18th century led to a boom in the metal's use in jewelry. Used primarily in the popular cut-down collet settings of the era, silver was the go-to setting for diamonds, which were simultaneously pouring in from India and Brazil. While today it may sound funny to set arguably the most precious stone in a semi-precious metal, it made perfect sense back then, when white gold and platinum didn't exist! In the 18th and 19th centuries, the process of setting diamonds in silver (which dates back to the Baroque era) was in full fashion, as the "white" color of the metal was thought to better enhance and compliment the sparkle of the stone better than gold.
The use of reflective foil behind the stone was also common at this time. Foiling involves backing the gemstone with a sheet of metal to help better reflect light or add color. In the Georgian and Victorian eras, this technique was used to bring out the best in a gemstone, before modern cutting practices and tools were around to maximize the stone's brilliance. Goldsmiths during this time had to get creative, and boy did they ever! Everything from metal to silk thread to peacock feathers were used, and before long, the craftsmanship involved in high quality foiling was elevated to an art of its own.
Sterling Silver, 14k Gold, Old Cut Diamond
Excellent - stone and setting are in beautiful condition. Stone has two small carbon inclusions which do not detract whatsoever from its brilliance.
Stone measures approximately 6x5mm, including setting. Strung on an adjustable 16-18" 14k yellow gold chain.