Paste jewelry became most popular in the 18th century as an alternative to the expensive gems so loved by the upper class. Georges Frederic Strasse, a French jeweler, developed the rhinestone called "strass." Using bismuth and thallium, he was able to make the glass "paste" more refractive and added metal salt to change colors.
These creations came in a variety of styles and colors. For centuries, paste has made a more affordable jewelry option for those who could not pay for the luster of a diamond. In fact, many people desired paste jewelry in its own right. It was valued as its own art form, rather than simple imitation. The trend continued into the late 19th century, and even today we can find paste jewels!
A 45 Jewel paste riviere, meant to emulate diamonds of the highest order, this fabulous colet set jewel features foiled paste stones to sparkle in candle light.
Materials & Features: paste jewels
Age/Origin: Georgian, c. 1820
Measurements: 15" in length, 32 grams
Condition: Excellent condition. Fully graduated.
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.