Kirsten's Corner

Victorian 14K Gold Star Pendant with Black Enamel, Pearl, and Sapphire


A very unique, handcrafted piece of a Victorian era jewelry, this star pendant features black enamel with pearls and a 1 carat sapphire stone as its centerpiece. This is a one of a kind piece of jewelry, and very unusual for celestial jewelry.  The six-pointed star is beautifully imperfect in shape, and the 14k gold and black enamel make a gorgeous contrast, creating a border around the star. The center section of the star contains semi-baroque seed pearls, which vary in size, shape, and color, all with bluish hues. The pearls are not perfectly round but instead are a variety of oblong, oval, and pear shaped. The 14k gold is hand carved and the pearls are placed into the indentations. The jeweler then pulled tabs of gold over the sides of the pearls to hold them in place like prongs. 

At the center of the star is a large transition cut oval shaped 1 carat sapphire, which is a beautifully saturated shade of blue with flashes of purple undertones. This sapphire is original to the piece and exhibits an older cut, but I am not certain of the origin of the stone—it is either natural or very early Verneuil Sapphire. Also called flame fusion, Verneuil technique was invented in 1883 and was the first successful method of creating synthetic gemstones. At the time, this was state of the art technology—a feat of alchemy— which gives early Verneuil stones a special historical significance. 

On the back of the pendant, a star shaped scaffolding has been built into the pendant to give the piece depth. It features a matching black enamel bail. The pendant weighs 8.2 grams. It is approximately 1 1/2” across and 2” from top to bottom, including the bail. The bail is 7.5 mm x 4.5 mm. 

Celestial jewelry became popular in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, as recent advances in astronomy allowed people to look to the sky with new understanding. It has resurfaced in popularity as a major trend in contemporary fashion.

Circa 1900. 

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