Cannetille antique jewelry

cannetilleJewelry with cannetille or filigree with intricate detailing was common in the early 1800s. A fine gold or silver thread is twisted spirally into scrolls or spirals.  Motifs included tendrils, scrolls, coils, beehives and spider-like rosette ornaments. Cannetille work could be found in almost every European nation during the 1820’s and 1830’s.The style remained popular through the Art Deco period. A good overview of cannetille can be found here


Camphor glass in antique jewelry

mimi camphor earrings.JPGCamphor glass is usually a reference to 1920’s jewelry. Hydrofluoric acid gives this clear glass a frosted whitish appearance. A star pattern was often caste on the reverse side of jewelry to give it a radiant appearance. It was popular from the mid-nineteenth century through the 1930’s.

Stud earrings

mimi-stud-earringsA simple type of earring during the late 1800s into the 1900s was needed to work with high collars on dresses and blouses.  We see the stud earring gaining favor at this time. Interestingly, pierced ears fell out of vogue around this time so screw backs then clips had a mid century 1900 surge in popularity. This style is generally hard to date since the ball style has had an enduring popular trend.

Top and drop earrings

mimi-top-and-drop-earringsThe style dates to late 18th century and was very popular during the  Georgian era defined as the period between 1714 and 1837. The jewelry of this time has an opulent and regal flair. Fine jewelry was worn almost exclusively by the wealthy. This style of earring has two round or oval sections with the second section often detachable from the first. They are often referred to as ‘day to night’ earrings when the bottom is detachable.

Pendeloque Earrings

pendeloqueA pendeloque means ‘pendant’ and is a pear shaped modification of the round brilliant cut, hung from a thread, chain or wire. This style became very popular during the 18th century.  A very elegant style with usually a bow in the center connecting the drops.  These earrings were often elongated and complimented the tall coiffures popular at the time.

Is your sparkly jewel worth anything?

There are a few things to look for before: 1) look for hallmarks located on the back of a clasp, inside of a ring or bracelet or on the post of an earring.  All fine jewelry should have some type of hallmark. 2) check the weight because fake chains feels fake and solid gold jewelry, for example, is very smooth and heavy. 3) Inspect the prongs since fine jewelry is not glued into the setting but finely crafted in an intricate bezel or prong setting with the exception of pearls. more