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Chinese Sapphire and Seed Pearl Necklace

Do you believe in magic? Is it possible that a gemstone can bring the wearer good fortune? There seem to be a number of opinions…for centuries the Sapphire, in addition to its  obvious beauty, has been associated with mystical and healing powers.


"In 1299, the Queen gave King Edward I a gold pendant set with a large sapphire…to be worn next to the skin, so that its magical powers might benefit the wearer." J. Evans, A History of Jewellery.

"The sapphire was a ticket to immortality and was popular with ancient rulers." H. Newman, Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry.

"In the far east the blue sapphire has a peculiar superstition attached to it…it will either bring the wearer great luck and fortune or great misfortune but it is not until the owner has worn the actual stone that he or she will know which way fortune will swing." M. Poynder, Price Guide to Jewellery.

2-755209 This 19th century necklace consists of a 132 carat (approx.) hand carved cabochon cut natural blue sapphire set in a vermeil pendent. This alone would be striking, but the addition of 23 1.5mm and 257 1mm natural pearls that have been drilled and strung on a fine silk thread does make the pendent magical. The chain is 26 inches long and has 7 pearl rosettes.

"Oriental pearl- the highest quality pearl…such pearls were brought to Europe in Medieval Times…often regarded as more valuable that a diamond." H. Newman, Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry.

3-755787Several years ago a friend introduced me to a gemologist who is also a custom jeweler. Ralph Schroetter is a great teacher….he understands both gemstones, construction and collects rare stones.

When I first showed him this necklace he was even more excited than I was. We are both still in awe of how the tiny seed pearls were strung on such fine strands of silk…perhaps the sapphire brought magic to their stringer?

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