Total Carat Weight: Approximately 4.31 ctw
Precious Metal Weight: Approximately 4.50 dwt
Precious Metal Material: Tests for 12-16k rose gold and 800 silver
Dimensions: 32.45 mm north to south (from bottom to top of affixed loop but not including bail) x 25.57 mm east to west x 5.20 mm deep at the tallest point (central diamond)l; ~12.05 mm bail height x ~3.95-4.00 mm inner bail opening (to configure chains that will safely fit); overall height from bottom of cross to very top of bail is 43.05 mm long x 25.57 mm wide
Weight: An impressive 6.97 grams
Markings: Unmarked; tested for 800 silver face and rose gold backing that tests between 12k to 16k gold purity.
Era: The pendant is estimated to date from between 1701-1806 (please see the written description for more details), with approximately six Table cut diamonds that are believed to date to 1500-1600. Because of their presence, this piece could, indeed, date to the late 1600s-mid 1700s, but is more likely a Georgian jewel. Without knowing an exact provenance, we cannot ascertain a more precise date range beyond what our years of collecting, dealing, learning and refining our expertise enables us to determine. Being that this date range is a professional estimate, you may find more information regarding the dating and pricing of pieces here.
Buyer Notes: This pendant is an extraordinarily rare and striking jewel with virtually no comparable pieces like it on the open market at the time of listing. Part of its unusualness comes from its form, which does not fit the historically standard shapes of most antique cross pendants that date to this period. Its shape, the diamond faceting matrix combinations, the dual materiality and the composition all lead us to believe that it is central to eastern European in origin. Some diamonds present could date as far back as the 1600s (17th century), while the pendant itself is believed to have been constructed during the 1700s (18th century), which tells us that those older diamonds may have been heirloom/family stones passed down from one generation to the next until they were formally set within the pendant as we see it today. The bail shows historic soldering (the silvery base metal material that seals the ends of the looped bail together), and is itself secure but this treatment means that it will no longer open. The top gold loop affixed to the top of the cross, into which the bail is girded, is worn down from friction with the bail over many hundreds of years of use. Also keep in mind that the foiling appears to shift in its coloration and intensity of color depending on the kind and directness of light; in bright sunlight, the stones’ foils may appear more colorful than in indoor, incandescent light. Likewise, this chameleon-chromatic effect may be attributed to the original colors of the foils, or may be a result of chemical reactions from exposure to water, age, time and any other environmental factors.
- Prospective buyers, please be aware that the age, composition and materiality of this piece renders it much more fragile than a modern-made diamond pendant. As such, it should not get wet, and care and caution ought to be taken while being worn and enjoyed. It is a historic piece in the age of approximately 300 years, and should be preserved such, being that it is a one-off, completely singular and irreplaceable rarity. Market value of this pendant is VERY conservatively estimated to start at a base value of $5540. This pendant does NOT come with a chain necklace, and would have originally been worn on a long silver chain or a finely made velvet ribbon.
Center Stone Type: Diamond
Center Stone Count: One (1)
Center Stone Shape: Believed to be an antique Dutch Rose cut
Center Stone Dimensions: Approx. 5.65 x 6.30 x 2.51 mm (measured within mount so as to preserve integrity; diamond is most certainly larger, as the pinched colette is designed to comfortably wrap the girdle to protect it)
Center Stone Carat Weight: By formula, approx. 0.85 ct
Side Stone Type: Diamond
Side Stone Count: Fifty (50)
Side Stone Shape: Rose cuts, antique Rose cuts, modified antique Rose cuts, Dutch Rose cuts and Table cuts (which pre-date the fabrication of this piece); all appear to be foiled
Side Stone Dimensions and Carat Weights: Estimated by formula and in order of the numbers pictured:
1. 2.10 x 2.08 x 1.25 = 0.052 ct
2. 2.12 x 2.04 x 1.25 = 0.051 ct
3. 1.76 x 1.65 x 1.00 = 0.028 ct
4. 1.10 x 1.10 x 0.90 = 0.010 ct
5. 3.00 x 2.05 x 1.35 = 0.079 ct
6. 2.88 x 1.80 x 1.35 = 0.066 ct
7. 1.67 x 1.42 x 1.40 = 0.032 ct
8. 1.40 x 1.42 x 1.45 = 0.027 ct
9. 4.67 x 3.90 x 1.80 = 0.31 ct
10. 3.20 x 3.00 x 1.75 = 0.16 ct
11. 1.80 x 2.68 x 1.40 = 0.064 ct
12. 2.05 x 2.35 x 1.45 = 0.066 ct
13. 2.21 x 1.85 x 1.45 = 0.056 ct
14. 1.50 x 2.80 x 1.40 = 0.056 ct
15. 1.80 x 2.30 x 1.40 = 0.055 ct
16. 3.30 x 2.50 x 1.80 = 0.14 ct
17. 2.64 x 2.04 x 1.30 = 0.066 ct
18. 2.32 x 1.70 x 1.30 = 0.049 ct
19. 2.53 x 4.65 x 1.55 = 0.17 ct
20. 3.80 x 2.20 x 1.70 = 0.13 ct
21. 3.20 x 2.15 x 1.75 = 0.114 ct
22. 1.80 x 2.85 x 1.20 = 0.058 ct
23. 1.92 x 1.34 x 1.19 = 0.029 ct
24. 1.92 x 1.20 x 1.20 = 0.026 ct
25. 1.60 x 1.17 x 1.15 = 0.020 ct
26. 1.60 x 1.25 x 1.20 = 0.023 ct
27. 1.36 x 1.95 x 1.25 = 0.031 ct
28. 2.50 x 1.82 x 1.20 = 0.052 ct
29. 2.22 x 2.63 x 1.30 = 0.072 ct
30. 2.65 x 2.75 x 1.65 = 0.114 ct
31. 3.85 x 2.56 x 1.95 = 0.18 ct
32. 3.11 x 2.32 x 1.41 = 0.097 ct
33. 1.32 x 1.96 x 1.30 = 0.032 ct
34. 1.57 x 1.30 x 1.15 = 0.022 ct
35. 2.32 x 1.40 x 1.15 = 0.035 ct
36. 1.95 x 1.25 x 1.20 = 0.028 ct
37. 1.08 x 1.80 x 1.30 = 0.024 ct
38. 1.88 x 1.71 x 1.20 = 0.037 ct
39. 1.96 x 1.70 x 1.15 = 0.036 ct
40. 2.24 x 1.61 x 1.14 = 0.039 ct
41. 2.45 x 2.60 x 1.20 = 0.073 ct
42. 2.24 x 2.15 x 1.70 = 0.078 ct
43. 2.96 x 2.05 x 1.20 = 0.069 ct
44. 3.62 x 2.11 x 1.20 = 0.087 ct
45. 4.63 x 3.23 x 1.60 = 0.23 ct
46. 1.04 x 1.03 x 1.20 = 0.012 ct
47. 1.38 x 1.20 x 1.20 = 0.019 ct
48. 1.70 x 1.55 x 1.10 = 0.028 ct
49. 1.91 x 2.40 x 1.2 = 0.054 ct
50. 1.92 x 3.10 x 1.25 = 0.071 ct
An incredibly rare jewel, this cross pendant is of notable distinction for its singularity in size, carat weight and age. This pendant is professionally estimated to be just over 4.30 total carats of diamonds featuring antique rose cuts, antique modified rose cuts, and Dutch rose cuts. While the reverse of the cross is closed back rose gold, the face of the pendant is silver, boasting a natural oxidized patina that is an earned testament of time and so deeply beloved by collectors. The largest central diamond is set within a variant of cut-down collette, and all fifty other smaller diamonds are constituted by bead prongs throughout. These prongs are irregular, seemingly set where necessary and based on aesthetic symmetry.
Being that the piece is closed back, no light passes into and through the diamonds to refract light. Instead, these diamonds are all foiled on their reverse. Both the use of rose cuts and the employment of foiling were techniques designed specifically to catch the twinkle of candlelight, the foiling catching the light and reflecting within the stone.
Historically, jewelry smiths would slip thin sheets tinted or silvery copper "foil", sometimes vibrantly colored, between the gemstone back and its setting. This produced an interesting optical effect that caused gems (even rougher, darker or less skillfully cut stones) to utterly dazzle; the foil works to amp up the refractivity and bouncing of light, while adding light chromatic tonality. Although this foiling practice is an especially alluring attribute for collectors, foiled jewels are quite vulnerable to water damage if even slightly wet. Water causes foil to discolor and darken, to somewhat dissolve, and it can get trapped between the stone and the setting.
A note about foiled jewelry: One must keep in mind that the original owner for whom this cross was originally crafted did not occupy a lifestyle like we do today: she was not performing the same household tasks, taking part in the same social engagements and duties, pursuing the same athletic endeavors, adhering to the same hygienic practices, etc., that we do now. This being the case, this foiled diamond relic was simply never intended or designed to withstand today's living.
The cross’ shape is intriguing, as it is nearly equal-sided, denoting it as something between a Maltese cross and a Formée cross/Croix Pattée. Its form could be identified, therefore, as a derivative of Myrhorod/Cossack cross, which is known by its triangular shaped arms that do not quite flare at their ends to ‘fill’ out the square silhouette. Such shaped crosses are found in relation to countries in and around central to the westernmost portion of eastern Europe, specifically Germany, Sweden, Poland, Austria, Ukraine down to Montenegro and the Balkans, and more specifically Belgium and the Netherlands.
As such, our rough attribution of this cross is to this region, and confirming this regional attribution, the 800 silver face is a known historic preference of jewelers in Germany and Austria; specifically, we believe that this pendant may be a product of the Kingdom of Prussia, therefore dating to between 1701 (the kingdom’s beginning) and 1806 (the War of the Fourth Coalition under Napoléon Bonaparte).
The cross titles named here each have a multitude of meanings depending on the organization, culture, history and context that heralds these forms. Generally, each arm of the cross alludes to the virtues of wisdom, dignity, integrity and perseverance. The Formée cross/Croix Pattée can be traced back to the 1400s, and the Myrhorod/Cossack cross has roots in the 1500s, and both have widely been used in coats of arms to speak to loyalty, bravery and duty. Thus, the design has long been lent as a signifier of services such as military, emergency and hospital and even philanthropic clubs. Of course, the fundamental meaning of the cross is based in the sacrifice of Grace incarnate that built a bridge to the Perfector of faith and Healer of hearts.