Cerulean Loadstar: Antique Turquoise Starburst Pendant/Brooch in 9ct gold


A most unusual starburst pendant, finely crafted in 9ct gold and studded with natural turquoise – this piece is as versatile as it is unusual with fittings allowing it to be worn as either a brooch or a pendant.

Celestial jewellery featuring stars and moons were popular motifs of the Victorian and early Edwardian eras when jewellery featured a fine array of motifs drawn from the natural world – each with a “hidden” or coded meaning. Moons were often given as honeymoon gifts from a groom to his bride in celebration of their first year of marriage. Sunbursts we not restricted to a particular period in a couple’s relationship – indeed during this time jewellery was often exchanged between close friends or between siblings in celebration of meaningful relationships and close familial ties. Travel was tedious and perilous (no passenger cars or aeroplanes or even telephones for the majority of this period!) so having a treasure to remind you of a loved one was very comforting while you were apart.

Although this piece is most definitely a starburst, the striking design combined with the teal blue stones does make me think of a flower or a peacock. The blue of turquoise is said to be the same as the forget-me-not flower, which really doesn’t need an explanations for it’s ‘secret’ message.

While I have seen many exquisite starburst pieces featuring pearls, opals or diamonds, this is the very first example of a turquoise starburst I have come across. It is truly three dimensional with a pave set, domed centre, eight individual bezel set turquoises radiating out from the dome, each one framed by a pointed arch or petal of gold, bead set with graduating turquoise cabochons. All of the turquoises are original to the piece. Some have coloured over time from their original bright azure hue to green – this is something that happens naturally to some turquoise over time.

Measurements: The brooch/pendant measures 36.8mm diameter and weighs 4.7 grams. It is approximately 7.5mm deep excluding the hinge and pin mechanism.

Condition: The piece is not hallmarked, which is not unusual for pieces of this age, especially if they are Australian in origin which this piece may very well be, but has been XRF tested as solid 9ct gold. It is in very good antique condition.  There is a small dent to the back of the domed centre piece which is not visible when worn. This, along with the change in colour of a few of the turquoises, are the only ‘faults’ to note in this stunning piece of jewellery that is over 100 years old. The hinge and c-clasp are in perfect working condition. It is ready for immediate and everyday wear.

*the antique box and vintage chain are for display purposes only and not included in the sale.


A Victorian or possibly Edwardian pendant/brooch made in solid 9ct gold and set with natural turquoise cabochons.

The brooch/pendant measures 36.8mm diameter and weighs 4.7 grams. It is approximately 7.5mm deep excluding the hinge and pin mechanism.

It is in beautiful antique condition and ready for immediate and everyday wear.