Posted 6 years ago
This was a recent acquisition, bought as a "white stone necklace".
I could see the blue tinge in the stones, and thought the design was pretty cool, although it looked like cr_p, dirty and tangled, dumped in the corner of a cabinet full of costume jewellery at a local auction.
So I was pleasantly surprised after purchasing it for peanuts, to have the stones tested as aquamarines. Once cleaned they sparkled like crazy. The big one top centre is 9mm diameter, probably about 3cts, the large pear shape in the drop is 13 x 9mm, so maybe 4cts, and total gemstone weight has to be approaching 12cts of aquamarine.
Aquamarine is classified as a precious gemstone by the GIA, included in the beryl family along with emeralds, heliodor and morganite. (The other precious gems are diamonds, sapphire/ruby, and opals, with pearls usually included as well).
This is a "Negligee" necklace, characterised by asymmetrical length drops.
I saw a recent UK Antiques Roadshow Expert explain the name "Negligee" necklace came about because it drew attention to the wearer's feminine charms in the same way as a flimsy nightdress (or negligee).
The expert was making it up as he went along, because the name "negligee" necklace actually comes from an early type of beaded (often coral) necklace with varying length drops, that looked like it had been haphazardly (negligently) strung together.
Negligee necklaces were popular during the Nouveau to Deco periods, 1900's to 1930's. This one is a cool example that was probably made by a New Zealand Colonial jeweller circa 1910, likely based on a design seen in a pattern book.
I'm very glad they made it with real aqua's and not with glass!