Pearls And Diamonds Together… Do They Hang Loose, Or Fizz!?

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Pearls and Diamonds

The English poet and playwright Robert Browning was born in the UK in 1812 and died in Venice in 1889. He was one of the foremost Victorian poets – and wrote these few lines about the life of a pearl diver:

There are two moments in a diver’s life:
One, when a beggar, he prepares to plunge;
Then, when a prince, he rises with his prize.

We tend to think of pearls as a calm and serene sort of gem, but put a pearl in the right setting, and it can become very excitable! Just like the pearl diver when he (they were usually ‘he’ in Browning’s time) rises to the surface with a clam shell with a pearl inside.

So here are two pieces of jewelry where the combination of pearls and diamonds reflects those two states – a dynamic and exciting piece jumping out of its skin; and a cool and serene piece, to create a feeling of calm.

They’re both brooches/pins and both were offered for sale in Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York, 5th December 2012.

Lot 440 – A Dynamic Cultured Pearl and Diamond Brooch, by Van Cleef & Arpels, New York, Circa 1967 

18 Karat Gold, Cultured Pearl and Diamond Brooch, Van Cleef & Arpels, New York, Circa 1967. Designed as a sunburst centered by a button-shaped cultured pearl measuring approximately 14.9 by 10.5 mm, the rays set with numerous round diamonds weighing approximately 23.50 carats, signed Van Cleef & Arpels, numbered N.Y. 38035, with French workshop and assay marks; fitted with a pendant hook and retractable pendant loop. With signed pouch. (Text and image credit: Sotheby’s)
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