2014/02/23

Copper, the interesting link between antique diamonds and charity

Copper, the unexpected link between

antique diamonds and charity...

(an interesting history)

Platinum, gold and silver acid testing set with touchstone from Adin at www.adin.be
Click the picture to get to this special old cut Peruzzi diamond.
 

What you see here on the picture, are diamond tools and a platinum ring with an old cushion cut or Peruzzi diamond which dates back to the early 18th Century. The tools are diamond holders for polishing diamonds. The one in the front is how they were used in the 18th century and the one in the back is how they were used in the 20th century.

The one in the front has a leaded point on a brass half sphere attached to a copper stem. Diamond polishers would heat the lead so it would be moldable to embed the diamond in. The copper stem was pushed into a wooden tool which allowed the polishers to easily hold the diamond against a polishing wheel. In order to make the many facets a diamond has, they had to bend the copper stem in the wanted position.

Later the brass and lead were replaced by an iron tool (the diamond holder you see in the back) which allowed the polishers to easily change the stone from its holder. But the copper stem remained.

When you bend a metal many times eventually it will break and such was the case with all these copper stems. In 1905 the Dutch Diamond Workers Union agreed with the owners of the diamond polishing factories that from then on, the Union would receive all the broken copper stems. A special fund, the "Koperen Stelen Fonds" or KSF (Dutch for Copper Stem Fund) was founded, solely funded by the revenues of the broken copper stems, for the financial support of diamond workers that were affected by tuberculoses.

Later in 1919 a sort-like agreement between unions and factory owners was made for the recuperation of used diamond powder (needed to polish diamonds) and with those revenues the KSF bought themselves a farm from which they made a sanatorium.








Antiqualy yours,

The Adin team
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2014/02/16

Georgian Antique Jewelry 1714-1830, Natural Seed Pearl Parure

Georgian Antique Jewelry 1714-1830

Natural Seed Pearl Jewelry

Georgian woven natural seed pearl parure necklace pendant brooches pre Victorian from Adin's Georgian and Victorian antique jewelry collection at <a href='http://www.adin.be/default.htm'
Click the picture to read and see more from this seed pearl necklace.
 

Not an every day object, to say the least. A parure (a set of matching jewels) of real natural seed pearls. Some 200 years old and in the finest condition and it comes in its original box from the jeweler: Hamlet. His sign reads: "Hamlet Goldsmith & Jeweller To Their Majesties & Royal Family, Princes Street Leicester Square".

Natural seed pearls (smaller than 2mm and not completely round) were an essential part in Georgian jewelry. They were made into long tasseled sautoirs, or threaded into intricate designs to support slides and clasps, or used as surrounds for gemstones, cameos and micro mosaics instead of the more traditional diamonds. Particularly exquisite are the parures of seed pearls in various sizes, sewn by hand with horsehair or silk thread on to a drilled mother-of-pearl backing to create necklaces, hair ornaments and earrings of delicate beauty.

Due to the size of the seed pearls, special care and patience was needed when drilling the holes, as a even the smallest mistake would result in the loss of value or render the pearl completely useless. It was an art Indian lapidaries where especially famed for, due to the extensive use of seed pearls in traditional Indian jewelry.

For all its fragility, a good deal of seed pearl work has survived and fine examples in boxed sets can still be found. Pearls have always had a beautifying effect on women. (From the book "Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830" - where on page 153 you can see some jewelry that came from the Adin collection). Purity and innocence are characteristics often ascribed to pearls, combined with the purity attributed to the lily depicted in the necklace, made them an ideal wedding gift for a blushing bride.

The well known story of Queen Cleopatra, dissolving a pearl into vinegar and drinking it to showcase her wealth to Caesar is often disregarded as myth. But there are records of Ranjit Singh, a nineteenth century party loving Indian prince who threw decadent parties where he would ground pearls to a powder and mix them with wine to offer to his favored guests to impress them. We don't suggest giving this necklace the Cleopatra nor the Ranjit Singh treatment, just wearing it will suffice to impress your friends.
 
 
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Antiqualy yours,

The Adin team
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2014/02/09

Eureka! (or: "The most devious way to test gold.")

Eureka!

(or: "The most devious way to test gold.")

Platinum, gold and silver acid testing set with touchstone from Adin at www.adin.be
Click the picture to get to our well-tested collection.
 


The most well known anecdote about Archimedes (287 BC – 212 BC) is the following: King Hiero II gave a goldsmith pure gold to make him a crown. But because the king had doubts on the honesty of the goldsmith he ordained Archimedes to find out whether the goldsmith had been swindling with the alloy by adding silver to it. Archimedes had to find out without damaging the crown.

When Archimedes took a bath he noticed the raising of the water and he came to, what is know now as, Archimedes' principle (a body immersed in a fluid experiences a buoyant force equal to the weight of the fluid it displaces). Archimedes was so thrilled with his finding that he stepped out his bath, forgot to get dressed, and ran to the king while crying "Eureka!" (I have found it!). The test on the crown was done and indeed silver had been mixed in.

What the story tellers forget to tell us, besides what happened to the goldsmith, is that Archimedes probably wasn't aware of the fact that he could have used a touchstone and acid to test the alloy of the crown. The oldest texts on testing gold on touchstones go back till the 5th and 4th century BC. And still today we use this test in the jewelry trade. Imagine, nothing has changed in 2,500 years!

On the picture you see a touchstone, some bottles of acid to test the various alloys and some sample-needles with standardized alloys of gold, platinum and silver as we use this in our daily work at Adin.
 
 
Our well-tested collection in:
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Antiqualy yours,

The Adin team
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2014/02/02

Chocolates and other sweet Valentine delights from Adin's candy store

Chocolates

and other sweet Valentine delights

from Adin's candy store

Exceptional platinum estate ring with tapered baguette diamonds and black pearl from the antique jewelry collection of adin at www.adin.be
Click the picture to get to this estate diamond and pearl ring.
 
 
 
 
 
Our collection in:
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Antiqualy yours,

The Adin team
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