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Exquisite Antique Georgian Imperial Precious Topaz Seed Pearl Pinchbeck Brooch

In Fine Jewelry > Georgian Jewelry > Show & Tell and Fine Jewelry > Brooches > Show & Tell.
ApatheticXHeart's items5 of 10Antique Victorian  Braided Hair Work Mourning BraceletVintage 1940-1950's era Zuni Petit Point Cuff Bracelet
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    Posted 9 years ago

    (10 items)

    I wanted to share this lovely piece of historical jewelry that I found at the bottom of a box of costume jewelry! Awesome find Imust say. I knew right away that this was NOT costume jewelry. I wasn't sure at first what the stone was but after researching, I decided that I did not think it was Citrine and that it could quite possibly be an Imperial Topaz. I was so excited at the prospect of having a piece so rare in my possession that I knew I had to get it appraised. The first place I went to clearly didn't know what they were talking about. They said the pin wasn't that old and that it was a Citrine. I knew better so I took it to a much more credible auction house, "Clar's Auction House" in Berkeley, CA. and showed them the pin. Before they whisked it away, I told the woman what I thought the pin was and what era it was from. I told her I thought it was an Imperial Topaz and Seed Pearl Brooch from the Georgian Era. She then took the pin and I waited....... When she came back, her exact words to me were, "You definitely did your homework" She and 2 other appraisers confirmed exactly what I thought. The only thing I was incorrect about was the alloy. I thought it was rose gold but when tested, it did not come back with any gold content. I had heard of an alloy called "Pinchbeck" before, but it is quite rare so I never considered it. However, the appraisers all agreed that it was most likely just that, Pinchbeck. (see below for description of Pinchbeck I found on Wikipedia)

    ****Quite rare and not often seen in today’s marketplace, Pinchbeck is a metal alloy that consists of copper and zinc. Invented in the early 18th century the formula was a highly guarded secret. It was used in the 18th and into the mid 19th century as a respectable alternative to high carat gold. Many rolled gold and gold filled Victorian items are labeled Pinchbeck but are not the same. Today having the look and warmth of old gold, it is now highly collectible.****

    I was told that the stone is an Oval Cut Imperial Topaz and that it is a "Type 1" Gemstone (which means these stones are usually free of inclusions) and that the "Clarity" in the "Type 1" group is classified as "VS" (minor included) The only thing I have to double check on is the Carat weight of the stone. It is pretty good size measuring approx. 1/4" x 1/2 " in diameter.

    ****The terms “Imperial” and “Precious” Topaz are often used to distinguish between true topaz and the quartz look-a likes. Topaz commonly occurs in colorless and brown colors, it is the rare golden, orange, pink, red and purple colors, which are often termed “Precious” or “Imperial” Topaz. This brooch falls under the "Imperial" Topaz category.

    The pearls are genuine and are a gorgeous cream color. It has an intact and fully functional "C" clasp. The bar on the clasp appears to be a different color than the rest of the metal on the piece but I was told it is the "Original" bar to the clasp and that it did not appear to have been replaced.

    This was certainly quite a "come up" in my book. I ended up selling this to a woman who collects Georgian Era jewelry as I knew she would treasure it and keep it safe.

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    1. Moonstonelover21 Moonstonelover21, 9 years ago
      Great find...and love the Victorian Era! I have a lot of that which I will post soon...did you take a look at my Antique Jewelry that I have posted?
      Your pin is stunning!!
    2. Newtimes Newtimes, 9 years ago
      Really nice brooch. Here in Europe we find lots of pinchbeck jewelry though. Maybe its more rare in the US.
    3. Agram.m Agram.m, 9 years ago
      Nice brooch, welcome in the world of antique jewelry collectors and collections see mine:
    4. tom61375, 9 years ago
    5. ApatheticXHeart ApatheticXHeart, 9 years ago
      Thank you so much Moonstonelover21,Newtimes and Agram.m! Moonstonelover21, the brooch is actually Georgian not Victorian and I was told it was most likely from around the latter part of the 1700's. I did post a Victorian Mourning Hairwork bracelet that I own and will try to get around to posting my amazing double sided banded agate (Carnelian and Onyx) 12K Rose Gold Mourning Locket soon.
    6. ApatheticXHeart ApatheticXHeart, 9 years ago
      Bratjdd, thank you for your kind words and I am thrilled I was able to inspire you to post your lovely brooch! I consider myself quite lucky seeing as I found this beauty at the bottom of a box of junk/repair jewelry. In the same box was an amazing 12K Victorian double sided Carnelian and Black Onyx Mourning Locket in almost perfect condition but that was covered in dirt and grime...I will be posting that soon. Anyway, thank you again. BTW, I actually just moved to Emeryville. Do you live in San Francisco? That's cool that we are sort of "neighbors"....
    7. vintagejewel vintagejewel, 9 years ago
      That totally screams imperial topaz it has that perfect imperial color,I love citrine but the imperial topaz is just stunning. Beautiful find

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