Gold is a metal that has been treasured by so many throughout human history. In this article we look at some of the more intricately design pieces of gold jewellery and some interesting facts about the metal that is valued so highly.
Facts about Gold
- Gold is nearly indestructible.
- Around 85% of all the gold in the world ever discovered is still in current use today.
- The largest reserves of gold dwell within our seas, but no viable process yet exists for us to extract it.
- There is an asteroid that sails the cosmos designated, Eros, which was discovered in 1999 and is reported to hold more gold than has ever been mined on Earth.
- Almost all of the gold found on Earth originates from asteroids that crashed into the planet.
Gold karat breakdown:
24 Karat – pure gold
18 karat – 75% gold
14 karat – 58.5% gold
10 karat – 41.7% gold
The Wonder of Gold Jewellery
Paul Flato ‘Deaf & Dumb’ Brooches
These brooches were produced as a part of Paul Flato’s sign language collection. A collection thought to be made as a catharsis to Paul Flato’s hearing impairment and which he developed in coordination with his intrigue into hand imagery. He used them to advertise different pieces of jewellery he produced within the 1930s for various companies, including Vogue. His clients often wore the hands forming the sign language letters that subtly showcased their initials.
Castellani ‘Bacchus’ Pendant, circa 1870
Part of the archaeological revival that occurred between the 18th and 19th centuries. This ancient spectacle of gold jewellery is a pendant which depicts the Roman deity Bacchus, the god of winemaking and who was often associated with revelry. The intricate grape vines that adorn his head, work to symbolise the deity’s connotations and showcase the detail of the talented craftsmanship. It was fashioned using an ancient Estrucan gold technique, rediscovered by the renowned Castellani firm and is considered by some to be an inspired reflection of the archaeological revivalist style.
Pol Bury ‘Kinetic’ Earclips and Matching Ring, circa 1975
‘Speed limits space; slowness increases it’ – Pol Bury
A modern spectacle of gold jewellery, this ring piece and set of earrings was influenced by the designer’s early work as a surrealist painter. Pol Bury is known for his kinetic inspired sculptures and designs. This passion for kinetic energy can be seen in his other pieces of jewellery; many of which feature mobile elements including rolling balls and moving spokes.
Fabergé Eggs, Coronation Egg 1897
This spectacle of gold jewellery was made in honour of the coronation of the Russian Empress Alexandra Fedorovna; an event that resulted in the death of hundreds who were killed in the stampede for free beer and souvenirs at Moscow’s Khodynka Meadow. Constructed from varicoloured gold and various jewels, the Coronation Egg stands at 5 inches and is currently part of The Link of Times Foundation Collection in Russia. The elaborate coach, concealed inside the golden Easter egg, is a replica of the same coach that transported Empress Alexandra to her coronation in Moscow in 1896. The craftsmanship of George Stein is responsible for the detail and beauty of the piece, who spent over a year constructing it. The payment he received he invested into a bicycle, this however was not made from gold.
Leone di San Marco cufflinks
This set of cufflinks depicts the Lion of St. Mark; the symbol of the republic of Venice and are part of the Wearable Venetian Art collection from Nardi. The lion’s paw rests on a gospel of St. Mark and works to connote the strength and wisdom of the old Venetian Republic. Although one of the less impressive spectacles within the gold jewellery world, the detail embellished through the skilled craftsmanship is undeniable.