14K Victorian Diamond & Pearl Snake Crescent Necklace
A wonderful and pristine quality Victorian c.1880 crescent with a snake wrapped around, modelled in 15ct (15k) gold, and set with rose cut diamonds and a pearl in it's mouth.
The snake's body is delicately detailed with Etruscan revival granulated beads and filigree work, reminiscent of Etruscan revival in the late Victorian era. The entire piece is bloomed, an antique process where an item is dipped in specific acids by melting away impurities on the surface, creating a "bloomed" gold look, where you have a very rich yellow and matte surface.
It is a wonder that this piece, being an original bloomed gold piece, is in pristine condition, with hardly any scratches, markings, solder marks or dents to the piece throughout its over 140 years in age. This particular piece is certainly an heirloom and collection worthy piece, as it is in pristine condition.
We have delicately attached a matching 14k gold chain to this piece, and transformed it from a brooch to necklace conversion. There are two stations on the chain, so it can be worn at 16" & 18" length intervals.
The crescent measures 30mm across not including the snake's body, and 36mm including the snake's body.
What is Bloomed Gold?
“Blooming, a popular finishing technique for karat gold jewelry from 1870 to 1890, was first documented in 1853. The means for creating a bloom finish involved dipping a karat gold item into a boiling mixture of hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid), saltpeter (potassium nitrate), salt and water. This process burned off any alloys on the surface resulting in an alloy-free, thin layer of soft, pure gold on the item. This thin gold skin was dotted by an infinite number of microscopic pits or holes which caused the matte sheen. The effect is reminiscent of the soft skin found on a peach. Dipping the item into the boiling mixture was referred to as colouring, and the resulting sheen was termed bloom.” - The entire above excerpt is provided by Antique Jewelry University / Lang Antiques. Click here for the page written by Lang Antiques about the process of blooming gold.
Note: It requires a skilled jeweller to successfully transform a bloomed gold piece from a brooch to a conversion. Any mistake in the soldering process will require the piece to be polished, and it will lose its matte finish. We have seen other similar pieces that have been polished to a high shine (probably to cover a previous error) and thus have lost their original “bloomed” beauty. This piece has been very well converted and there has been no damage to the matte finish during the conversion process.
To retain the semi-matte finish of bloomed gold pieces, we recommend not to polish the piece. If you really have to, for example, remove a darkened tarnish mark, please ensure to only use a jewellery polish cloth, and with very light handed motions and only very sparingly.
Era - Victorian c.1880
Materials - 15k gold and 14k gold / Rose Cut Diamond / Pearl
Carat Weight - Diamond: 0.10ctw by spread
Measurements - 30mm across (not including snake's body), 36mm across (including snake's body)
Length - 16" and 18" (adjustable length)