Aug 10, 2015

Maximillianu Emperador Mexican Gold Coin Ring

I recently stumbled upon a cool little ring. A gold handmade setting displaying a gold coin. The tiny coin, (which I naturally assumed was piece of pirate treasure plundered from a heavy chest dug up on a remote island under a large red X) features the profile of a bearded man and bears the inscription "Maximilianu Emperador." Turn the ring over and the coin depicts an eagle with the date 1865 and the words "Imperio Mexicano." 
So I did a little investigating and, while I'm sure there were pirates in Mexico, this is not, in fact, a piece of their treasure. Dream shattered. 

Turns out what I held in my hands (or rather wore throughout the day, occasionally ogling and muttering "my precious") was actually a token.
Production of these fantasy tokens began in 1949, which is either an arbitrary date or because prior to that there was a revolutionary war in Mexico. 
They were struck in gold ranging from 8k to 22k and a few designs were cast in silver. I say "designs" because while most feature Maximilian who ruled Mexico from 1864-1867, some depict the emperor and his wife, the emperor and his new clothes, the emperor's new groove, etc. 
Intended for collectors, tourists and jewelry, some are used in traditional Catholic Mexican wedding ceremonies called Las Arras. The latter typically contain little or no gold content as the ceremony calls for 13 coins, which the groom places in the bride's hands and then into a box to show commitment (but apparently little trust with finances). 

So there you have it. I have begrudgingly decided to part with this little ring (because it's not cursed pirate gold) and you can find it in my etsy shop!


Jul 29, 2014

A Locket in my Pocket

Lockets are among my favorite pieces of jewelry. There's just something so sweet and personal about these tiny secret compartments.

The earliest lockets were intended for woven or plaited human hair that was encased in a compartment of glass. Before the advent of the daguerreotype in 1840, lockets contained tiny hand painted portraits.

The Industrial Revolution brought advances in photography and bolstered the appeal of lockets to a broader population. 

Lockets of Victorian era are typically found in Sterling, Gold and rolled gold over base metal.This unusual  Victoria era locket (above and below) has a mesh sliding door that opens to reveal a compartment for a photo. It is of gold filled metal and marked inside.

Art nouveau lockets are among my favorite because of the detail and craftsmanship. Often they feature curvy, fluid designs inspired by nature.

Two Victorian- Nouveau lockets. The left is Sterling silver set with turquoise. The one in the right is marked 10k, and is set with three diamonds.

Interesting shaped lockets are also coveted by collectors. These three vary in age, the left is c 1950, the right is 1930s and the middle is early 1900s.

Often lockets are found missing the celluloid inserts and frames.

A collection of sweetheart lockets ranging from 1940s to modern.  Military emblem lockets were popular during World War II. It is a real treat to find them with the original photos of young men in uniform.

Taking on many forms, lockets can be found as rings, watch fobs, brooches, and even bracelets. This 14k gold Art Deco bracelet is a family heirloom. Custom crafted by Allsop and Allsop in strong deco lines and set with a blue sapphire.

It's a locket too!

I hope you've enjoyed a peek into my locket collection :) for lockets available for sale, visit my shop here:

Or check out some of these beauties I found on Etsy::

Art Deco locket from boylerpf

locket from COBAYLEY

Art Nouveau locket from ThePeacockFeather
Gorgeous Regard Enameled locket from Pinguim

Have a locket to share?? Please put a link in the comments!

May 5, 2014

Marcel Boucher. Magical Earrite Earrings

Patented in 1950 by Marcel Boucher, these fabulous earrings mysteriously cling to your head with no clips, screws or posts.

The original patent drawings demonstrate the unique wire wrapping mechanism.
So comfortable and completely adjustable to your ears.
Despite the generous use of glass rhinestones, they remain lightweight.

However it seems these stylish and totally unique earrings didn't really catch on in the 1950s.  So, unfortunately, there are very few examples for research, comparison or purchase.

The earrings may be signed, with only one of the pair bearing the "Boucher" signature. Some may also contain a patent number.  They may also be unsigned.

One thing is for sure, they are really beautiful, well made and very unique. If you are lucky to come across a pair, rest assured you'll be the only one rocking them!

You can find an unsigned pair of these wonderfully elegant Earrite earrings in my shop.

So there you have it, I learn something new everyday... and I'm so glad I can add this to my knowledge bank too!