Made to shine and reflect light as beautifully as diamonds, cut steel was a huge trend in the Georgian and Victorian eras. Spreading quickly from its origins in Woodstock, near Oxford, it soon took hold in other English cities, and then France, Spain, and beyond. The desire for the dark gray sparkle endured well into the 19th century.
Cut steel jewelry is set with small steel studs or beads. Each stud is faceted, polished, and carefully riveted in place through tiny holes in a base plate. Once faceted and mounted to catch as much light as possible, it provided a brilliance to rival that of diamonds. Early examples of these steel studs have up to fifteen facets, making them shine and sparkle beautifully. In fact, as a general rule, the finer and older the piece, the more facets the studs are likely to have.
These explosive star earrings are very typical of the early 19th century, with forget-me-not tops and astral medallions. Forget-me-nots are known to be a discreetly decorative symbol of the wearer's love for, and remembrance of, a dear departed person, especially during the Victorian era of jewelry. Additionally, another common symbol in Victorian jewelry is the star, symbolizing guidance and wisdom.
Materials and Features: steel
Age/Origin: French, 19th C
Measurements: 1.5", 5 grams
Condition: Excellent condition. Minor associated age wear.
Please view and inspect any photos closely. We endeavor to fully disclose all condition information clearly and concisely, however, please note that what qualifies as excellent condition for historical jewelry differs from modern and contemporary pieces; please take the age of the piece into account when examining the piece. Minor age wear is typical and to be expected for antique and vintage jewelry. Unless otherwise stated, gemstones have not been officially graded for color, clarity, or treatment by GIA; any information provided is our own educated, professional assessment.