Victorian Bohemian Garnet Cluster Earrings
Garnet set jewelry was quite in vogue during the later decades of the 19th century. The preferred variety was the Bohemian garnet or pyrope, greatly prized for its rich color and high light refraction with excellent clarity and a wondrous transparency.
Set closed back and in pinched collets of rose gold over silver (sometimes referred to as “garnet” gold), the gems have been placed very tightly together and dominate the entire setting with little metal revealed. The smaller top cluster incorporates two tiers of stones in a flower form with the lower drop sporting three.
These late Victorian earrings display their vibrant luminosity and brilliant sparkle in both natural and artificial lighting conditions. The slight sway of the articulated drops adds to the radiance of each gem-encrusted cluster.
Measurements: 1-3/4 of an inch (4.5 cm) in length by 9/16 of an inch (1.4 cm) in width for top cluster and 13/16 of an inch (1.9 cm) for the lower drop. Weight of 9.2 grams (5.9 dwt).
Condition: Excellent; modern 14k yellow gold ear wires.
Date & Origin: Circa 1880 – 1890 and is European in origin.
Overall Scale: Medium
Identification Note: Open backed garnet pieces of jewelry are usually 20th century in origin although many term those pieces Victorian. To identify Victorian pieces versus later ones, look for the traditional closed backs of rose gold over silver. In addition, the color of the actual garnets is often then a deeper wine color where often later garnets have a bit more orange hue and sometimes less facets.