Hello and Happy New Year! Welcome to our first edition of The Hancocks Journal for 2023.
This month we’re welcoming in the new year and banishing any thoughts of the January blues with a host of beautiful new jewels.
Starting with this lovely Edwardian diamond and platinum spectacle set necklace circa 1910. Set with forty-three old European brilliant cuts estimated to weigh about 22cts in total, each one is bezel-set in platinum with a fine millegrain edge. The diamonds are bright and lively and have been well matched, the simple setting and close spacing of the stones makes this a wonderfully sparkly and special antique necklace.
Below we have some fancy yellow diamonds, do you know what makes them yellow? All is revealed below along with a brilliant pair of vintage Bulgari earrings and our characterful jewel of the month. And for that difficult to buy for ‘gent who has everything’, we have a wonderful interchangeable vintage cufflink set by Dior, we bet he doesn’t have one of those!
We hope you enjoy this selection of recent acquisitions. As ever, our full collection is available to view in our Burlington Arcade boutique and on our website and our Instagram page is updated daily, all links are at the end of this newsletter.
Vintage Diamond Earrings
These stylish vintage gold and diamond ‘Doppio Cuore’ earrings are c.1990s by Bulgari. Formed of two stylised heart shaped motifs, the smaller one inverted above the larger one and both partially pavé set with round brilliant cut diamonds. These ‘suit everyone’ drop earrings make a fun bold statement and are very recognisable as having that glamorous and distinct Italian style so associated with Bulgari. They have clip fittings so can be worn by pierced and non-pierced ears alike. You can read about how this world renowned jewellery brand was started by a young Greek silversmith back in 1880 on our website. Yes, that most Italian of Italian jewellers was actually founded by a Greek, click the link below to read more.
Yellow and White Diamond Ring
This very lovely yellow and white diamond ring is set with five old European brilliant cut diamonds weighing a combined total of 1.49cts. The white stones are G colour and the three fancies are graded Fancy Yellow. This rich vibrant yellow is caused by nitrogen in the diamond. Tiny nitrogen atoms naturally find their way into the diamond crystal as it is growing and when there are enough of these present, they cause the light to react differently resulting in us seeing the stone as yellow. The more nitrogen, the deeper and more pronounced the yellow will be. Yellow is the most common fancy colour for diamonds and there are many different shades and strengths, these particular stones are a lovely clear yellow, they are sunshine solidified.
Jewel of the Month
Antique garnet and diamond frog brooch/pendant c.1890
We are leaping into the new year with January’s jewel of the month, this wonderful Victorian frog brooch/ pendant. Made in silver and gold it is pave set with old-cut diamonds and has a streak of vibrant green demantoid garnets down its back.
Guy Burton, comments: “Frogs have been used as a decorative symbol throughout history and across many cultures, symbolising a variety of meanings from good luck to new life and fertility, wealth and abundance or power and knowledge.
During the 19th century, and in particular the mid-late Victorian era, a love of and fascination with the natural world was widespread. In a period now renowned for its sentimentalism, it is unsurprising that symbolism and meaning was attached to flora and fauna great and small.”
“As a rule I would use jewellery generously to get the most out of it. A many stoned necklace of rhinestones for instance will look lovely with a décolleté frock for evening. It will go equally with a fine black knitted sweater for afternoons.” Christian Dior
Christian Dior (1905 – 1957) founded his eponymous couture house in 1946 opening a boutique at 30 Avenue Montaigne and showing his first collection in February the following year.
Today Dior is best remembered for introducing post-war Paris to a ‘New Look’. The Maison went from strength to strenghth introducing ready to wear collections, fragrance, cosmetics and accessories to what is now one of the biggest brands in the world.
Click below to read more of the story.