Date: Circa 1930-40.
Measurements: Width of 1 13/16 inches at the widest and 7/8 inches at the back. Weight of 55.0 grams.
Hallmarks: P14kP, 14k.
Condition: Excellent, light overall wear.
Historical notes: The word ‘Gypsy’ (now considered derogatory) is simply a shortened form of the word “Egyptian” because non-Roma had believed that is where this group originated.
Genetic testing reveals that the Roma first migrated from North India in about the 11th century, and many then roamed to Eastern Europe around the Middle Ages. However, they were and still are found in Western Europe and numerous countries around the globe.
The Rom arrived in the United States from Serbia, Romania, Russia, and Austria-Hungary beginning in the 1880's, part of the larger wave of immigration from southern and eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
One of many areas in which Roma have traditionally excelled is that of metalwork. The art of the forge is an ancient one and the Roma may have originally learned this while in India. Skilled at plating objects with tin, forming copper objects, or embossing and engraving jewelry, their craft included tin smithing, copper smithing, or silversmithing. Metal repair, automobile body repair, and welding are other offshoots.
The Three Graces is fortunate to have an advisor, a Roma woman, helping us to understand and document more about their modern life and the jewelry worn or passed down. We are deeply grateful to her for sharing her knowledge and history.
Typically, many marriages are still arranged by the parents. Once married, there is a period to ensure that the union is a thriving one. It is possible that the husband, or his family, could reject her, even once wed. After a suitable period, the bond is considered successful, and the woman would receive two bracelets from her parents (like this one), although there are other styles.
Some are graced with The Cameo; Caucasians refer to her as the Gypsy Queen. Others are embellished with horseshoes, and flowers, or their design includes curved edges, while others are straight across, some have pink or red gemstones, and others none. There are even link bracelets.
The shape and motifs vary according to their lineage or “clan”. While there are many subgroups, some of the main clans are Kalderash, Machvaya, Boyash, Lovari, Modyar, Xoraxai, Lăutari.
Final Note: Not all clans or groups utilize the term Roma, we have adopted that for ease of recording this information. Some use Romani just as an adjective. No cultural disrespect is intended.
Some authorities have adopted the word Romani to refer to the people. However, others adopted Romani only to refer to language and culture and Roma for people around the world.
The Roma (Rom, Romani, Romanichal) formerly referred to as Gypsies (pejorative) arrived in North America from the first wave of non-native peoples, believed to be since the time of Columbus.
Traditionally nomadic, many of those in the US today still maintain that lifestyle in vans, trailers, and motorhomes. Some have settled in homes within communities around the country.
Jewelry was, and often still is, an important asset and an inherent part of their cultural history. Always hand made, this is an exceptional example.
Visually striking in 14k rose gold, a scalloped border accentuates the form of this bracelet. Hand-engraved design elements of zigzags, cross-hatching, and floral patterns adorn the surface.
Framed with an applied engraved “good luck” horseshoe as a backdrop, the cuff is defined by a plaque featuring a centralized three-dimensional profile of a woman wearing a tiara or headpiece and facing right. Roma often refer to her as The Cameo; Caucasians sometimes as the Gypsy Queen.
Around her neck is a beaded necklace punctuated by a faceted synthetic ruby in a closed-back bezel set mount. Four appliques of three-dimensional flowers highlight and dramatize the artistry of the bracelet.
Across the top and bottom, repoussé orbs are pressed out from the back. On the cuff ends, there is additional linear engraving.
Scare, these rarely come into the marketplace and are usually kept for a lifetime, or passed on to related Roma family members. This is the first one we have offered since 2016 as they have also become highly collectible over the last 25 years or so.
Weighty, and heavy, this flexes slightly to fit most average wrists. We do not recommend pressing this together or separating too wide as just as tin foil, fine metals can become stressed with the act of flexing.