Rare and exceedingly elusive today, Gold Rush jewelry has become a category unto its own in recent decades, rather than merely a genre of 19th century novelty. When the gold rush gripped the hearts and heads of profiteering Victorian investors, California, Oregon, and Alaska were treated as both a “new home” and tourist destination. I’ve had the pleasure to research a handful of the articles of adornment that this phenomenon yielded- but none quite so telling as this fob.
This special jewel occupies a specific corner of this market, rarely discussed! Likely made for an English tourist or relative, who perhaps mined this nugget of gold themselves, or was sent this piece as a gift to recall the bounty that awaited their family line in the states, the narrative possibility of this object is manifold. A sizable golden nugget is fitted as an English fob in 18ct with the initials FA on the reverse!
The craftspersonship is inline with English examples of the period, while the nugget us almost certainly American. A rare piece that would be a landmark addition to any collection.
Age/origin; English/American, 1880
Materials: 18ct, 24ct
Size: 25mm in height, 8.7g in weight
Condition: Excellent condition. We’ve never seen one quite like it!
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.