Victorian Era Cut Steel Matched Bracelet Set

Bright steel panels make up links in these bracelets. A rare set still together after many generations. A subtle heart motif is integrated into the design. English in origin. Circa 1840. 

Decorative plaque-shaped hidden push clasp. The bracelet measures 7" in length and 1" wide. 

In the mid-18th century, cut steel Jewelry was first seen as an unlikely but effective diamond imitation. Its popularity began in 1759 when the wealthy French, who were asked to donate their fine jewels towards war efforts, began wearing cut-steel in the place of diamonds. Its popularity endured throughout the 19th century. Archives say that material for the earliest examples was obtained from collecting steel horseshoe nails. Pieces that survive today command much attention, especially considering their humble beginnings.