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Old Mine-cut Diamond, Ruby, Emerald and Opal Butterfly Pendant Brooch


Composed of diamonds, opals, emeralds and rubies, this large 18K gold butterfly dates from the late 19th century. Wearable as a pendant or brooch, the butterfly is designed with a pear-shaped emerald and old mine-cut colored diamond body joining spreading wings set throughout with variously-sized old mine-cut diamonds, and highlighted by pear-cut emeralds, cushion-cut rubies, and cabochon opals, its antennae accented by colored rose-cut diamonds. A versatile jewel doubling as brooch or pendant, this sparkling, glamorously large pollinator rivals its natural counterparts with a nod to their vivid colors and mysterious sheen.

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: BO-20660
Circa: 1880
Size:  3.00” length x 2.00” width
Materials: 190 old mine-cut diamonds (approximate total weight 13.75 carats); 3 pear-cut emeralds (approximate total weight 2.25 carats); 6 cushion-cut rubies (approximate total weight 0.90 carat); 8 oval cabochon opals; 2 rose-cut colored diamonds (approximate total weight 0.60 carat); 18K gold

In the 1860s, diamond and gem-set butterfly brooches became a favorite of Victorian women, and might be worn in multiples, not only on the clothing but also in the hair. With the discovery of South African diamonds, larger and more opulent butterflies like this example were created.