Explore: Iberian Jewels

Iberian Garnet Earrings: Catalan Region Circa 1780

The 18th Century was a boom time for both Spain and Portugal. Three Centuries of bold exploration paid off in riches beyond belief. Colonies in the New World created a current of gems and precious metals flowing across the Pacific into Lisbon and Madrid.  Although the 18th Century is counted in their last years of world dominance, the Iberian Peninsula continued producing outstanding jewels up until Napoleon’s invasions in 1809.  From Brazil, the Portuguese sourced diamond, topaz, aquamarine and chrysoberyl. From Peru and Columbia, the Spanish sourced emerald, garnet and precious metals. Often large in scale, the jewels from this region and time are remarkably current considering the passage of 250 years since their story began.
Portuguese Diamonds, circa 1770
 Portuguese Rock Crystal, Circa 1770
Spanish Diamonds in Gold, Circa 1760
 
Portuguese Chrysoberyl, Circa 1770
 photography by Ryan Goodrich
Rock Crystal & Paste, Circa 1770

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