Victorian Era Cut Steel Necklace

A cheerful circle design in cut steel. Measures 16" in length. English in origin. Circa 1840. 

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. 

Silver spring clasp. Measures 16" in length and 1.25" at its widest point.