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Victorian Opal and Diamond Pendant of Beguiling Beauty on Cut Steel Chain
I have always loved opals. One of the first pieces of jewelry I ever purchased was an opal ring at age five after climbing to the top and then back down to the bottom of the Pyramid of the Moon in San Juan Teotihuacán, Mexico. I have owned black opals from the Lighting Ridge mine in Australia and boulder opals from Queensland, fire opals from Mexico. This is my favorite opal, hands down. This fine and gemmy crystal opal almost certainly hails from Australia and at 13.9 mm x 9 mm x 4.66 mm weighs approximately 3.74 carats. This magnificent and diaphanous opal displays suburb translucency and a vibrant play of colors: green, yellow, blue, orange, red. There is absolutely no crazing, which is rare for antique opals and serves as testimony to the love and care with which this opal gem has been treated over the last 100 years. The opal is mounted in a laurel wreath setting of rich, buttery (European not Land O' Lakes) 18K (at least) gold, topped with silver into which is set a smattering of tiny single-cut diamonds that sparkle relentlessly as the opal they surround glows like liquified fire. No chain was ever good enough for this opal pendant. So for years, I stored it on an oxidized silver chain. I felt gold would be wrong. Because the face of the pendant is oxidized silver with just a hint of gold. You see the gold on the sides and of course on the back. Then many years later I located exactly the correct chain: a 16" cut steel chain in utterly flawless condition with a gunmetal patina. These cut steel "diamond" beads had recently been expertly (rarer than you would think) restrung. The antique victorian clasp of 18K yellow gold adds the perfect coordinating touch. The pendant alone weighs 3 grams and with the cut steel chain weighs 7 grams. I'm sure somebody will be like, "But I don't want that chain, I have my own." If this is you, use the "Make Offer" feature and offer me $1,000 less than the price and it will ship to you without the chain. It is a brief length, this is true. But in the second image, you can see how perfectly it lays upon one's décolletage. An extraordinary late Victorian jewel with the most glorious opal as its centerpiece. It is breathtaking in person.
- In the Style Of
- Place of OriginUnknown
- Date of Manufacturecirca 1880-1890
- Condition DetailsI consider this antique Victorian pendant to be in excellent condition. No hazing or damage to the opal, no damage or repairs to the setting. The rear of the pendant has soft scratches from being worn on wool sweaters. That's the level of wear.
- WearWear consistent with age and use.
- DimensionsH 0.27 in. x W 0.75 in. x D 1.13 in.H 6.75 mm x W 19 mm x D 28.67 mm
- Length1.13 in. (28.67 mm)
- Weight7 g
- Seller LocationSouthbury, CT
- Reference NumberLU158916838291
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- Return Policy
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About the SellerNew to 1stdibs
Joined in the past six months.
5 / 5
1stdibs seller since 2019
Located in Southbury, CT
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