Silver Lizard Brooch With Marcasite

(ZAR - South African Rand)

Dimensions:

86mm x 22mm

Condition:

Perfect

Stock Code:

858t

Product Description:

A stunning vintage lizard brooch. Silver set with marcasite and green eyes.

Brooches are an interesting accessory because they were originally created to serve the purely functional role of holding clothes together. With time, however, their design developed into being aesthetically pleasing as well. By the 17th and 18th centuries, brooches were predominantly ornamental, and today these are prized possessions in many women's jewellery boxes.

Diamonds are a girl's best friend, but when they are expensive and unattainable it forces jewellery makers to find a substitute - this substitute has often been marcasite. Marcasite jewellery isn't a new trend, and it has been adorning women for centuries, extending as far back as the Ancient Greeks. But marcasite is actually a soft and brittle mineral which crumbles easily, and therefore manufacturers prefer to use pyrite, although the name ''marcasite'' has stuck!

This silver marcasite lizard brooch is a beautiful example of why marcasite is a good diamond substitute. The stones are highly polished, and are inlaid into dull silver - this colour contrast gives the brooch a particular vintage look. The gunmetal tone also perfectly offsets the lizard's green eyes. The stones sparkle like diamonds but are far more affordable than the real thing, and even Queen Victoria was known to wear marcasite jewellery - which helped to increase its popularity.

During her reign, all jewellery was symbolic, and lizards were a popular motif. They were once believed to be fire-proof, and so they were seen as symbols of enduring love. Lizard brooches were popular gifts as they also represented wisdom, and brought the wearer good fortune.

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