Antique Victorian Cut Steel Riveted Drop Earrings
- Source: eBay
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A little history about cut steel: Jewelry made of cut steel came into fashion in the mid 1700's and lasted until the late 19th century when the steels were stamped and no longer riveted. It was first manufactured out of recycled horseshoe nails in Woodstock England and the steels were mostly recycled because the price of steel was very high until it was mass produced in the mid 19th century. Cut steel jewelry was made as an alternative for the look and impact of early cut diamonds, cut steel in jewelry became a highly refined process. Each small steel bead or stud is hand cut, faceted, polished and painstakingly riveted onto a metal (typically brass after the 1830's). The steel studs are densely set to provide remarkable brilliance. The light dances from one facet to another, you can imagine the sparkling effect when worn dancing at a ball. Jewelry made of cut steel included buttons, rings, necklaces, brooches, chatelaine decorations, tiaras and buckles. Because of steel's ability to corrode not many pieces have survived to see today's light. When they are encountered they fetch high prices. I fell in love with Victorian jewelry and specifically cut steel pieces when I came across a tiara about 4 years ago, then a pair of clover earrings. So I started collecting every piece of cut steel I could find ... read more