1860s 10k 16.87 CTW Chalcedony Agate and Turquoise Mourning Brooch
1860s 10k 16.87 CTW Chalcedony Agate and Turquoise Mourning Brooch
1860s 10k 16.87 CTW Chalcedony Agate and Turquoise Mourning Brooch
1860s 10k 16.87 CTW Chalcedony Agate and Turquoise Mourning Brooch
1860s 10k 16.87 CTW Chalcedony Agate and Turquoise Mourning Brooch
1860s 10k 16.87 CTW Chalcedony Agate and Turquoise Mourning Brooch
1860s 10k 16.87 CTW Chalcedony Agate and Turquoise Mourning Brooch
1860s 10k 16.87 CTW Chalcedony Agate and Turquoise Mourning Brooch
1860s 10k 16.87 CTW Chalcedony Agate and Turquoise Mourning Brooch
1860s 10k 16.87 CTW Chalcedony Agate and Turquoise Mourning Brooch
1860s 10k 16.87 CTW Chalcedony Agate and Turquoise Mourning Brooch
1860s 10k 16.87 CTW Chalcedony Agate and Turquoise Mourning Brooch


1860s 10k 16.87 CTW Chalcedony Agate and Turquoise Mourning Brooch

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  • Unique find! Only 1 available.

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 General Information:

  • Total Carat Weight: 16.87 ctw
  • Precious Metal Weight: Approx. 2.5 to 3.0 dwt
  • Precious Metal Material: 10k yellow gold
  • Dimensions: 30.8 mm east to west x 25.5 mm north to south x 7.5 mm depth
  • Weight: 5.34 grams
  • Markings: Unmarked, which is typical for jewelry of this age and production type; tested for gold content
  • Era: circa 1860s
  • Buyer Notes: This brooch is done in a style that was very popular during the Late Georgian period through the Mid Victorian period. As such, there are many like it available on the market, though prevalence does not undermine value! These brooches are memorials of lost loved ones, are affectionate family heirlooms and relics of another era. Made of organic materials and fine, yet affordable gems, every component is hand fabricated and exhibits the trained craftsmanship of a19th century artisan. Though small in size, such brooches are powerful exhibits of love and fidelity.


  • Center Stone Type: Chalcedony Agate
  • Center Stone Count: One (1)
  • Center Stone Carat Weight: By formula per the specific gravity of agate, approx. 16.74 ct
  • Center Stone Dimensions: 25.3 mm long x 19.6 mm wide x 4.8 mm deep
  • Center Stone Shape: Oval tablet cabochon (slightly concave on its face)
  • Center Stone Color: Milky, cool white
  • Center Stone Clarity: Standard hazy/translucent
  • Side Stone Type: Turquoise (could be Persian)
  • Side Stone Count: Eight (8)
  • Side Stone Carat Weight: By formula per the specific gravity of turquoise, approx. 0.017 ct; 0.013 ct; 0.015 ct; 0.018 ct; 0.011 ct; 0.017 ct; 0.019 ct; 0.023 ct; totaling 0.13 ctw
  • Side Stone Dimensions: 1.2 x 1.9 mm; 1.2 x 1.4 mm; 1.5 x 1.3 mm; 1.6 x 1.5 mm; 1.0 x 1.5 mm; 1.5 x 1.5 mm; 1.5 x 1.7 mm; 2.0 x 1.5 mm
  • Side Stone Shape: Near-round cabochons

The Story:

Crafted during the early to mid Victorian years, this precious pin was designed as an expression of mourning. The pin is a prime example of early large-scale production, though not to be confused with mass-production, as these pieces were still cast, faceted, chased, etched, polished and finished by hand. Rather, the formal stages of mourning required socially acceptable outward statements of the process, to which people of all statuses adhered. This pin would have been worn during the later stages, as it bears rich color and an almost sentimental air. 

The pin is rather petite, but has very nice weight to it due to the material composition. A chalcedony agate slab stone makes up the body of the piece, and is concave on the face and curved on the reverse. The agate shows a lovely cool hue and translucency that allows light to pass through it and appear to ‘glow’. The agate is adorned with a Forget-Me-Not bloom, composed of eight rub-over bezel-set turquoise cabochons. Both the chalcedony agate and the numerous turquoise stones are hand-cut and polished, and bear the charming imperfections that divulge their handmade origins. Forget-Me-Nots are common devices to convey affection within mourning jewels, and are often found in romantic pieces as well. They are believed to reflect feelings of true love, and are delicate symbols of eternal devotion and singular loyalty. The flowers are also thought to represent the Virgin Mary’s loving eyes, and are also evocations of both the solemnity of tears and the profound depth of the heart.

The frame of this pin is fabricated in 10k yellow gold, with four ‘prongs’ that hold the agate, each one created to look like a stylized scallop shell. Such designs are Rococo in origin, and are thought to appear to guide one along their righteous path. In suit, scallop shells have long been used during the baptismal ceremony for issuing holy water upon the innocent head of a blessed infant; the gentle flow of the blessed water is believed to be a symbol of divine protection and direction. The gold perimeter bears the acanthus leaves and cyma swirls that have been used in art and building history for thousands of years, as they transcend culture and time as agents of infinite growth, abundance and perseverance. Acanthus plants thrive even in the most trying of conditions, withstanding harsh winds and rain. These depictions are all etched in the gold as artistic remnants of a bygone era of both mourning traditions and careful craftsmanship.

The reverse of the brooch shows an open c-clasp and stem pin, a top loop for a dainty chain, and a bottom hook that was added about a century ago for the placement of a fob or small watch. These conversions are convenient in that they allow the wearer multiple styling options, and ensure that the piece remains wearable and practical, even long after mourning practices have subsided. The addition of a jump ring or charm holder may prove helpful to accomodate thicker chains for the rear loop, as it has an interior diameter of about 0.85 mm. This piece is a staple to any mourning collection, as it is a fine example of a common jewel. It is delicate and elegant, with rich emotional and cultural meaning that amplify its importance.

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