Kirsten's Corner Jewelry

Victorian 14k Gold, Hair & Onyx Mourning Pendant on 14k Gold Chain

This is a stunning piece of hair jewelry from the Victorian era. The 14k gold pendant features 32 flat-cut onyx stones that surround strands of braided hair, set under a a piece of bevel-cut crystal. This pendant hangs on an 18 inch, 14k yellow gold, 0.5 mm box chain from Italy. This thin, delicate chain perfectly sets off the antique pendant.

Hair jewelry has existed for centuries. Unlike other natural materials, human hair does not decay over long periods of time. In Victorian era England there was a resurgence in popularity for hair jewelry after the passing of Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, in 1861. After her husband’s death, Queen Victoria went into a period of deep mourning that spanned for many years and affected the mourning practices of the English. Soon, it became fashionable for the higher classes to wear pieces of jewelry with hair of their deceased loved one mounted on gold and decorated with stones. Hair jewelry was the ultimate sentimental token of one’s love in the Victorian era.

This incredible flat-cut onyx and 14k gold pendant is from the 1850’s. At the center of the piece is a piece of perfectly preserved braided hair. The hair has remained intact under a piece of bevel cut crystal. The piece of crystal measures 7.84 mm by 4.90 mm. There are approximately 32 flat-cut onyx stones surrounding the center hair piece. The onyx stones range in size, the larger stones are approximately 3 mm each, while the smaller stones are approximately 2 mm each. Though the pendant is unmarked I have acid tested it as 14k gold. With the chain this piece weighs approximately 4.90 grams.

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