This is a GORGEOUS and MINT condition brooch from the turn of the century. The term paste is used to refer to gemstones made of various kinds of cut glass. Lead glass was most commonly used, since the denser the material, the more it sparkled.
The colour is imparted to pastes by the addition of various metallic oxides. For example, cobalt gives a blue colour, copper or gold give a red colour, and manganese gives purple. By experimenting, the makers of paste jewels became very skillful in imitating the colour of almost every precious stone. Fine paste emeralds often look better than inferior genuine emeralds!
Today, we think of paste as just another version of a 'fake' stone, but that was not always so in the history of jewels. Paste at one time was an art form, since it made it possible to achieve specific decorative effects which are rarely achieved with diamonds and other precious stones. In fact paste jewelry was popular with Royalty and Aristocrats in the 18th and 19th Centuries.
Paste gemstones and jewelry reached its peak during the Georgian and Victorian periods (1714 -1901). This was mostly due to the popularity of a jeweler named Georges Frederic Strass, who after moving to Paris in 1724 was appointed "Jeweler to the King". He invented the rhinestone and controlled the market for artificial gems, and thus became a very wealthy man. His paste jewelry is extremely valuable today.
DIMENSIONS: 2½" ACROSS X 1⅞T
PLEASE MAKE NOTE OF MEASUREMENTS, AND E-MAIL OR CALL IF YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT SIZE OR CONDITION.