Antique Edwardian 18k Gold French Paste Halleys Comet Pin with a fancy hand chased cut top, a white gold wash to the head and its original showy paste stone. It is Marked K18, jeweler tested and Guaranteed to be solid 18K gold. Size is 2 1/4″ long. The head is 5/16″ wide. Weight is 2.1 grams. Excellent, gently used condition. There is some light age patina.
Additionally, it is all goldsmith handmade the early way in 2 long separate parts that are hand applied together. If you look carefully at the enlarged photos you can see the faint line going down the center front. This is where the goldsmith originally put it together. You will need a loupe to see this as it is not noticeable with the naked eye.
The paste stone is extremely clear, bright and sparkly just like an old, old European cut diamond. The back is also very well made with a beautifully hinged rod. Having very early fine quality hand crafting this is a gorgeous Antique Edwardian 18k Gold French Paste Halleys Comet Pin; a lovely example of Halley’s Comet jewelry for your antique jewelry collection.
About Antique French Paste Jewelry and Its Usage in Fine Gold Settings:
In the aristocratic classes of 17th century Europe, particularly the taste-making rococo Parisians, fine jewelry made of precious gemstones like diamonds and emeralds was flaunted and coveted. These stones were treasured for their beauty as much as their relative rarity—it was this rarity that prompted jewelers to seek out an equally beautiful, but less expensive, alternative material for their creations.
In 1724, French jewel designer Georges Frédéric Strass came up with “paste,” a kind of leaded glass that he cut and polished with metal powder until it appeared to shimmer like a diamond in the light. These white “diamante” or “strass” were a hit with glamorous Parisian high society.
During the Victorian Era, non-precious pastes were a part of a tasteful lady’s evening jewelry sets. They were also used in pieces intended to convey coded messages of romance, based on the colors of the pastes. Toward the end of the era, Austrian jeweler Daniel Swarovski introduced the first cut-glass crystals that successfully imitated the look of diamonds. While glass is not a rare material, the level of artistry and craftsmanship that went into his crystals made them appropriate for fine-jewelry settings of gold and sterling silver.