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Dec, Tue 29, 2020 | 06:17:35
|Seller||ancientgifts (4882) 99.5%|
eBay seller from Jun 1999
Location: Lummi Island, Washington
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|Condition||Here is a pair of absolutely gorgeous, lime green peridot semi-precious gemstones|
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Two Antique Eighteenth Century Genuine Natural Handcrafted Burmese Lime Green One-Half Carat Peridot Cabochon Round Cut Semi-Precious Gemstones. Mounted into contemporary high quality sterling silver studs.
CLASSIFICATION: Peridot Cabochon Rounds.
ORIGIN: Burma. 18th Century. Handcut in or near Yekaterinburg, Russia. 18th Century.
SIZE: Diameter: 5mm. Depth: 3mm. All measurements approximate.
WEIGHT: Approximately 0.91 carats (the pair).
NOTE: Other setting styles (euro clicks, lever backs, kidney wires, ball/stud dangles) are available upon request, both in sterling silver, as well as 14kt solid gold and in 14kt gold fill.
NOTE: If you would like only the gemstones, and not the settings, we can dismount the gemstones and offer you the gemstones without the settings. Just let us know, and yes, we’ll discount the price by the cost of the settings.
DETAIL: Due to its yellow green color peridot was known in the ancient world as the "gem of the sun". It was mined on St. John's Island (also called “Zebirget” or “Zabargad”) in the Red Sea, off Egypt, as early as 1500 B.C. In the ancient world peridot was also believed to afford protection against the “evil eye”, that ancient belief that some evil sorcerers or witches had the ability to transmit evil with just a glance. The Roman Historian Pliny in his "Natural History" (circa 70 A.D.) mentions both the island as well as its gemstones, referring to the Red Sea Island as "Chitis". The ancient Romans knew peridot as “emerald of the evening”, and wore it for protection against enchantments, melancholy and illusion.
Celebrating this cultural legacy here is a pair of absolutely gorgeous, lime green peridot semi-precious gemstones originally from Burma. The gemstones were hand crafted by an 18th century Russian artisan, part of an heritage renown for the production of the elaborate gemstones and jewelry of the Czars of Medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian Russia. High quality, transparent, and eye clean or therabout, these handsome gemstones possess a beautiful, light, citrus character. They are very handsome gemstones, with pastel citrus green color, of delicate character and airy texture. The color and tone are a distinct almost emerald green, with bright "lemony" undertones. The gemstones are quite clean by eighteenth century standards. They are not absolutely unblemished. If you look closely at the photo enlargements, you might be able to just barely make out a few blemishes composed of colorless, crystalline material.
Nonetheless the gemstones are crystal clear and nicely colored. By eighteenth century standards, these were costly gemstones. The earring settings are of contemporary origin. They are high quality settings manufactured by one of the USA’s leading semi-custom mount producers. They are constructed of sterling silver; they are not cheap, silver electroplated earrings. It is genuine sterling silver, designed to last a lifetime. It's a first-class piece of jewelry throughout. There are many other setting styles available (euro clicks, lever backs, kidney wires, ball/stud dangles) which, in sterling silver, could be substituted for either no or nominal extra cost. Please write us, ask, we can send you photos of the various alternative earring styles available. We can also reset the gemstones into 14kt solid gold or 14kt gold fill upon request. As might be expected, under magnification the gemstones show the unmistakable characteristics of having been hand crafted. The coarseness of the 18th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment, or detract from the value of a gemstone. Naturally these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, most serious collectors consider such gemstones more desirable, possessed of greater character and uniqueness when compared to today's cookie-cutter mass-produced machine-tumbled gemstones. Unlike today’s computer controlled machine produced gemstones, the cut and finish of gemstones such as these is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago. Such antique hand-crafted gemstones possess much greater character and appeal than today's mass-produced machine-cut gemstones.
These gemstone have great luster and character, but that is not to imply that they are absolutely flawless. True, the blemishes they possess are virtually invisible to the naked eye, and to use trade jargon the gemstones can be characterized as "eye clean". To the view of the casual admirer the gemstones are indeed seemingly without blemish. However in the accompanying photo enlargements you might be able to discern a few minute blemishes. Of course the same may said about almost any natural gemstone. An absolutely flawless gemstone simply is not the rule in nature. Most absolutely flawless gemstones will upon close examination be revealed to be synthetic. You might also notice under magnification occasional irregularities in the cut and finish. Of course absolutely unblemished, perfect gemstones are the realm of laboratory-produced synthetics, not Mother Nature. Furthermore these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, you must also consider that two centuries ago the mining techniques even possible then, let alone in practice, did not allow the ultra deep mining operations which are so commonplace today.
Keep in mind two centuries ago mankind was more or less limited to surface deposits or near surface deposits of gemstones. Higher quality gemstones which today are routinely mined from beneath hundreds of meters, even kilometers beneath the earth's surface, were simply inaccessible then. It is precisely for these reasons antique gemstone must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second. The relatively superlative quality of contemporary gemstones mined from deep beneath the earth's surface were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so. However for most, the unique nature and character of these antique gemstones more than makes up for the blemishes found within the gemstones, as well as the cutting and finishing irregularities common to handcrafted gemstones, all of which are by and large are only visible under magnification.
PERIDOT HISTORY: The name “peridot” was coined by the French, but the root is from the Arabic word "faridat" meaning "gem". Due to its yellow green color it was known in the ancient world as the "gem of the sun". Peridot was mined on St. John's Island (also called “Zebirget” or “Zabargad”) in the Red Sea, 45 shark-infested miles off the coast of Aswan, Egypt, as early as 3,000 B.C. Many pieces of ancient Egyptian jewelry (some as much as 4,000 years old) featuring peridot have been uncovered by archaeologists. The first century Roman Historian and Naturalist “Pliny the Elder”, in his "Natural History" (circa 70 A.D.) mentions both the island as well as its gemstones, referring to the Red Sea Island as "Chitis".
Legend has it that ancient pirates discovered peridot on Zebirget, but the island was often hidden by heavy fog and its location was lost for centuries. Another ancient legend pertaining to the island is that for thousands of years the thick fog typically enveloping the island protected the peridot from potential poachers, as if unsuspecting sailors approached, their ship would either be wrecked on a reef or captured and, either way, the crew enslaved to work in the mines so no one could go back and tell others. This barren little mound of land (picture of the island here) was one of the most heavily guarded locations of the ancient world. It is documented that the ancient Egyptians valued peridot so highly that guards stationed on the island were given orders to kill anyone approaching the shore without permission.
When originally discovered, the island was known as the ‘Isle of Serpents’. Supposedly, the island was so infested with pit vipers and mining so potentially deadly that the ancient Egyptian military was given the job of eliminating the viper population. According to ancient Egyptian legend miners searched for peridot crystals at night (when their glow gave away their location; ancient Egyptians believed the "jewel of the sun" became invisible under the sun’s rays), marked the spot, then returned to dig them up in daylight. Thousands of years later during the Middle Ages, this legend had evolved into the belief that peridot only showed its true beauty after nightfall.
To the ancient Egyptians, the glow of Peridot symbolized "Ra", their sun god. According to some accounts, peridot gemstones were a traditional “gift” given by the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt to their High Priests, ensuring according to one source, that the priests might "keep their minds free from envious thoughts and jealousies" concerning the pharaoh's powers and wealth. According to some ancient accounts, peridot was Cleopatra's favorite gemstone. Throughout the ancient Mediterranean peridot was believed to afford protection against the “evil eye”, that ancient belief that some evil sorcerers or witches had the ability to transmit evil with just a glance. The ancient Romans referred to peridot as “emerald of the evening”, and wore it for protection against enchantments, melancholy and illusion.
There are as well Old Testament references to peridot, though the gemstone was referred to as "pitdah", typically translated as ‘chrysolite’. According to biblical accounts, a peridot was one of the twelve stones adorning the breastplate of the high priest, Aaron, the twelve stones representing the twelve tribes of ancient Israel. During the Crusades it is believed that at some point the island came under Crusader control, and the island became known as “Saint John's Island” (its previous name, “Zabargad”, is the name for peridot in the Egyptian language). Although it's not known how long the Crusaders remained in control of the island, it is clear that they did engage in mining operations, stockpiling peridot.
At the end of the Crusades (after the final defeat of Crusaders forces and the capture of Acre by the Muslim Mameluks in 1291 A.D.), the Crusaders brought back to Europe large quantities of peridot. However true to form, the exact whereabouts of the island was then again lost to history, and and it was not until the early twentieth century that Zebirget and the peridot mines were rediscovered. The mines were worked up until the outbreak of World War II. Mining resumed again after the conclusion of World War II, but the mines were abandoned several decades ago. In Medieval Europe many powers were ascribed to this gem, and it was worn by many as a talisman so as to gain foresight and divine inspiration.
It was believed that peridot would dissolve as well as protect against the effects of enchantments and spells. To develop its full strength as a talisman, so as to enhance its potential to ward off evil spirits, peridot was set in gold or strung on donkey hair and tied around the left arm. One Medieval source (dated to about 1502 A.D.) cited the belief that using a piece of peridot upon which was carved an ass would enhance a sorcerer’s powers of prophecy, and that the engraving of a vulture onto the stone allowed control over various demonic spirits as well as the winds. Peridot brought into Europe as Crusader “booty” was also used in Medieval through Baroque Europe as an adornment for ecclesiastical treasures.
A particularly significant example of such ecclesiastical treasure would be that of one of the shrines in the Cologne Cathedral (the “Treasury of the Three Magi”). Acknowledged to be the largest and most valuable piece of medieval goldsmithing in existence, the reliquary was designed by Nicholas of Verdun (actively producing from about 1150-1210 A.D.), reputed to be the greatest goldsmith of his day. The reliquary is six feet long, four and one-half feet high, and three and one-half feet wide. Containing more than one thousand precious stones and an uncounted number of pearls, among the gems are three large peridots, each more than 200 carats in size. The precious stone and jewelry collection in the Tower of London also contains large peridot gems, as does the collection at the Vatican in Rome and the Diamond Treasury in Moscow.
Today peridot, also referred to not only as chrysolite, but also as “evening emerald” and olivine, is found in Norway, Germany, Russia, the Canary Islands, Saudi Arabia, Burma, Ceylon, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Australia, the United States, Mexico, and Brazil. Peridot gemstones have also been found within meteorites. The world's largest cut peridot, 319 carats, was found on Zagbargad Island. It now resides in the Smithsonian, Washington, D.C. Peridot was also found on Oahu in Hawaii. Native Hawaiians at one time believed peridot to be the tears of Pele, the Polynesian goddess of fire.
Throughout the history of the ancient world, gemstones were believed capable of curing illness and providing protection. Found in Egypt dated 1500 B.C., the "Papyrus Ebers" offered one of most complete therapeutic manuscripts containing prescriptions using gemstones and minerals. Gemstones were not only valued for their medicinal and protective properties, but also for educational and spiritual enhancement. Given the ancient legends that the glow from peridot only “showed” to miners at night, and that peridot gemstones only showed their true beauty at night, peridot has always been magically linked to dreams and the astral realms, and the subconscious mind.
In the ancient world peridot was used by ancient shamans and sorcerers for dream magic, for undertaking mystical journeys, and encouraging astral travel. Ancient physicians prescribed powdered peridot for asthma. The stone was also believed to lessen thirst in fever when held under the tongue (particularly effective for fever victims), and was also used as a cure for liver disease and dropsy. It was also believed that medicines taken from a goblet containing peridot enhanced the medicinal value and quickened the treatment. In the medieval world physicians used peridot to treat stomach ulcers, and to facilitate the birthing process wherein it was believed to stimulate contractions and dilation. It was also believed that peridot should be worn at night (or kept under your pillow) to protect against nightmares, night hags and vampires.
Wearing peridot is also said to help you keep your wits about you, especially in challenging situations, and protect you from foolishness, tactlessness and madness. Contemporary practitioners believe that peridot amulets possess magical powers which include the ability to improve the wearer’s intuition and the confidence to trust their intuitive insights (“gut feelings”). Peridot is believed to be a powerful crystal for emotional healing, able to help restore the missing or damaged fragments of a person's soul so that they can enjoy inner peace and contentment. Contemporary accounts also claim that peridot may be used to bring inspiration to poets and artists, along with the confidence and self-belief needed to realize creative dreams. Peridot is also said to be able to guide the wearer toward a happy marriage or true, loving friendships with like-minded people.
Peridot has also traditionally been used to heal bruised egos, lessen anger, and prevent jealousy, and is recommend by contemporary natural healers for those who feel hurt or angry. Wearing a peridot talisman is also believed to help speech by increasing one’s eloquence, as well as to remove impediments such as stutters and other speech-related handicaps. Natural Healers believe that peridot provides a protective shield around the entire body, and is useful in treating a damaged heart or lungs, pancreas, spleen, liver, and adrenal glands. Peridot is also believed to be effective in slowing the aging process, both physically and mentally. It is also believed to help alleviate stress, and has the power to enable the wearer to understand their destiny and spiritual purpose, helping the wearer to attain their full potential.
Domestic shipping (insured first class mail) is included in the price shown. Domestic shipping also includes USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site). Canadian shipments are an extra $14.99 for Insured Air Mail; International shipments are an extra $18.99 for Air Mail (and generally are NOT tracked; trackable shipments are EXTRA). ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per item so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers.
We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. If you intend to pay via PayPal, please be aware that PayPal Protection Policies REQUIRE insured, trackable shipments, which is INCLUDED in our price. International tracking is at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs).
We travel to Russia each year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from one of the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers, the area between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, Russia. From all corners of Siberia, as well as from India, Ceylon, Burma and Siam, gemstones have for centuries gone to Yekaterinburg where they have been cut and incorporated into the fabulous jewelry for which the Czars and the royal families of Europe were famous for. My wife grew up and received a university education in the Southern Urals of Russia, just a few hours away from the mountains of Siberia, where alexandrite, diamond, emerald, sapphire, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid garnet, and many other rare and precious gemstones are produced. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, antique gemstones are commonly unmounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset.
Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them centuries old. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today.
Our interest in the fabulous history of Russian gemstones and the fabulous jewelry of the Czar’s led to further education and contacts in India, Ceylon, and Siam, other ancient centers of gemstone production and finishing. We have a number of “helpers” (family members, friends, and colleagues) in Russia and in India who act as eyes and ears for us year-round, and in reciprocity we donate a portion of our revenues to support educational institutions in Russia and India. Occasionally while in Russia, India, Siam, and Ceylon we will also find such good buys on unique contemporary gemstones and jewelry that we will purchase a few pieces to offer to our customers here in America. These are always offered clearly labeled as contemporary, and not antiques – just to avoid confusion. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."table.transapptable table.transapptable td TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish
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