Antique Onyx and Diamond Cufflinks

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Pair of onyx and rose diamond double cufflinks, set in platinum and gold.

French, ca. 1900

$3,800

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Tags: diamond gold onyx platinum

1950s Onyx and Diamond Drop Earrings

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Pair of onyx and diamond drop earrings set in platinum.

American, ca. 1950.
Length: 3 in.

$16,500

Model wearing 1950s Onyx and Diamond Drop Earrings

Marcus & Co. Onyx and Diamond Drop Earrings

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Edwardian diamond and invisibly-set onyx drop earrings, mounted in milgrain platinum.

by Marcus & Co., ca. 1915
Length: 1 1/2 in.

$22,000

These earrings appear in our Marcus & Co. video on our videos page.

Model wearing diamond and onyx pendant earrings by Marcus & CoMarcus & Co. Onyx and Diamond Drop Earrings, mark

Antique Platinum, Diamond, and Onyx Double Cufflinks

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Turn of the century brushed platinum rectangular double cufflinks, each set with a central round diamond and black onyx borders.

American, ca. 1900.

$7,200

This item is available for purchase in the ALVR shop. 

Janesich Malachite and Onyx Table Box

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Gold-mounted malachite and onyx table box.

by Janesich
French, ca, 1920
Width: 3-3/4 inches

$25,000

Amethyst Pendant Necklace

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Amethyst, diamond and onyx pendant in platinum, with diamond-set chain.

Circa 1910.
Length of chain: 22 1/2 in.
Length of pendant: 3 1/4 in.

$38,000

Amethyst Pendant Necklace, side

Circular Coral Cufflinks

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Circular coral double cufflinks with an onyx border and center diamond, set in platinum.

American, ca. 1930.

$2,800

This item is available for purchase in the ALVR shop.

Contemporary Gem and Jade Wasp Earrings

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Pair of diamond, onyx, and jade panel pendant earrings, each designed as a wasp in flight carrying a briolette diamond pollen drop.

English, contemporary
Length: 2-3/4 inches

Model wearing Contemporary Gem and Jade Wasp EarringsContemporary Gem and Jade Wasp EarringsContemporary Gem and Jade Bee Earrings, back

Square Coral Cufflinks

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Square coral double cufflinks with an onyx border and center diamond, set in platinum.

American, ca. 1930.

$2,800

This item is available for purchase in the ALVR shop.

Victorian Diamond Dog Brooch

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Antique pavé diamond dog brooch resembling a Cairn Terrier, with enamel tongue and black onyx eyes, set in silver and gold.

English, ca. 1890.
Height: approximately 1 inch

$14,000

This item is available for purchase in the ALVR shop.

additional view, Victorian Diamond Dog Brooch

Vintage 1960s Moonstone Bracelet

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Cabochon moonstone, onyx, and diamond bracelet.

American, ca. 1960.
Length: 7 inches

$24,000

A Cameo in Time

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Roman Revival Cameo Earrings

These cameo earrings in the Roman Revival style are of hardstone, an indicator of their quality. Gold filigree and granulation border the ladies in profile, further emphasizing cameos as miniature works of art.

The small, low relief sculptures we recognize as cameos date to antiquity, used in Classical Greece and Rome to depict portraits and mythological scenes. There were many cameo revivals over the ages, particularly in the Renaissance and eighteenth-century. In the nineteenth-century, cameos became widely coveted for use in personal adornment.

Napoleon and his first wife Josephine are credited with setting the fashion for nineteenth-century cameo jewelry. Many cameos were brought back to France after the 1786 Italian campaign of the French Revolutionary Wars. Many of these were of Greek or Roman origin. Napoleon soon turned to the medium for cultivating his persona as the new Emperor Augustus, having cameo portraits made of himself in a laureate profile. Josephine also adorned herself in cameo jewelry, most notably a cameo and pearl tiara by Chaumet. The trend became increasingly popular, as the following from the Journal des Dames attests:

“a lady of fashion wears cameos on her belt, cameos in her necklace, a cameo on each of her bracelets, a cameo in her diadem.”

In the Victorian era, cameos became especially revered as travel souvenirs and wearable sculptures. Many cameo jewelry designs were inspired from sculpture, a highly regarded art form in the Victorian period for use as architectural accents.

Cameos were traditionally made from hardstone. Commonly varieties of agate, such as onyx, sardonyx, and jasper, enabled a cameo carver to create an image in more than one color because of their multiple layers. Cameos were also carved from shell, a light weight material conducive to jewelry making. Such easy manufacture made cameos more accessible to the growing middle class, therefore increasing their popularity.

Beautiful and timeless, cameos are a window to the past and a fitting accessory for the present!

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