When Jackie Kennedy came across her famous Sunburst brooch in the window of an antique jewelry shop in London, she knew she had to have it. Yet, even though she was the wife of the President, she didn’t have the $50,000 to buy it. So, she returned to America after making the shop owner promise to hold it for her. In order to buy the piece that had captured her heart, she sold off some other jewelry from her collection, mostly items given to her by her in-laws, Joe and Rose Kennedy. In an effort not to offend them she had costume copies made of all the jewels she sold. The copies were so good that it wasn’t until after her death that the family even knew which pieces were real and which weren’t.
I imagine a similar sort of tale for this most stunning Victorian paste necklace. This gorgeous piece is clearly a copy that was made from a stunning diamond original. The necklace is completely hand crafted and is bezel and prong set with 208 exquisitely sparkling paste gems. It features 26 floral links which graduate in size and has one bezel set paste in between each flower. The necklace is crafted in sterling silver and the box clasp is hidden in the back. This necklace no doubt echoes it’s diamond predecessor in every way, even down to the fold over safety catch. It is 16.5 inches long and 15.2 mm wide at the widest point, it weighs 50.2 grams. It tests as silver and is marked only with a mysterious ‘8’. Hand crafted in England in about 1870.
This super-sparkly copy could easily be mistaken for the real thing, and just to prove it to myself, I’ve worn it to some fancy events where it’s garnered many a complement and more than a few longing stares!
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