Victorian Era Cut Steel Necklace

Striking design in steel. This well-preserved cut-steel collar necklace feels so modern. 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. 

Hidden push clasp. Measures 15.50" in length and .75" at the widest point.