Cut Steel Bow Earrings

Dated between 1780 and 1860. Cut steel bow earrings with 18k gold ear wires. Measure approximately 1" wide and 3/4" high. Each fascinated steel stud sparkles like diamonds in candlelight. There are few diamond substitutes more effective than cut-steel and none more unlikely. Comprised of tiny faceted studs mounted into a brass base plate. In 1759 wealthy French were asked to donate their jewels to the treasury, they began wearing cut steel in place of their diamonds. It is hard to find great examples today because much of it has succumbed to rust in the face of dampness.