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Coro sterling vermeil brooch with blue "gem"

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    Posted 12 years ago

    (7 items)

    I know this a Coro vermeil brooch, but I am wondering about the manufacturing date. The "stone" is not foil-backed and I am thinking it must have been a Brazilian crystal from the time during WWII when it was tough to get crystals from Austria and other eastern European countries. Any thoughts? Also, any idea what it might be worth? I can't find anything like it to judge by. Thanks!

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    1. thriftfan thriftfan, 12 years ago
      Check this link out...

    2. Deborah77, 12 years ago
      Wow! Thanks for that link. Now I am wondering if this could be Mexican. It would make sense because my late in-laws spent a lot of time there in the early days of their marriage and she had a lot of Mexican sterling in her jewelry collection. This brooch was part of her jewelry.

      Thanks so much! It is a bit large for my tastes, but I love the "gem" -- the color is really pretty and it has great sparkle. It is so interesting to find clues about the history of such pieces.
    3. vintagejewel vintagejewel, 12 years ago
      Great Stone!!
    4. Deborah77, 12 years ago
      Thanks -- I agree!
    5. RottenVintage RottenVintage, 12 years ago
      I would say the gem is glass not crystal, beautiful piece
    6. Deborah77, 12 years ago
      Thank you RottenVintage. I agree it is really pretty.

      Your comment about glass vs. crystal made me wonder about the actual definition of crystal (as in lead crystal or cut crystal -- not gems/minerals also called crystals), so I looked it up. I found several rather interesting articles (some much too complex for a short note like this), but in essence it comes down to the lead content of the glass, and to a certain extent, whether the glass has been molded or cut. According to most of the sources I checked, all crystal is considered glass, but not all glass is crystal (and the precise definitions can even change from country to country).

      Apparently, lead content from 4 to 10% is classified simply as glassware, while another category says that lead content of 8 to 10% may be called lead glass. To classify as a crystal, the lead content should range from 10 to 30%. Only crystals in excess of 30% lead may be truly classified as lead crystal. I should add that these are European standards. The United States requires only 1% lead to refer to the glass as "crystal ware". Other parts of the world fall somewhere in between the rigid European and the relatively lenient U.S. standards.

      Since another definer is the quality of the light transmission -- better refraction properties resulting from better cuts and higher lead content -- the only outward indicators of glass vs. crystal is the "sparkle" and the absence of obvious molding (the later usually in the form of flow lines or concentric rings in the glass). In the absence of certificates or jeweler's marks to prove it, the only 100% accurate determination of the quality and category would have to be chemical analysis.

      I am no expert, by any means and could very well be completely off-base on this, but I called it crystal primarily because it is obviously cut rather than molded and because it does have considerable sparkle -- making me think it must have some lead content as well.
      It is an interesting subject though, and one I would love to know more about.

      Thanks for starting me thinking!

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