Pure of Heart : Antique “Pool of Light” Rock Crystal Heart Locket in 16ct Rose Gold

AU$1,000.00

Approximately: US$700.00

Continental European in origin, this delightful handmade 16ct rose gold and rock crystal locket is a tiny dream from times past. It’s in remarkable antique condition, surprising for it’s delicate nature.

The two rock crystal panes are in perfect condition without a scratch or chip. The locket closes securely and stays closed. There is enough room inside for two photos or something small and flat (not quite enough for a shaker, however). The rock crystal is only slightly plump – not enough for the magnifying effect of domed crystal known as “pools of light”. While this locket does not magnify to a noticeable degree, it does have the shimmer and glow of fine rock crystal. Even when empty it is an alluring piece of jewellery.

There is a tiny hallmark to the top of the loop – it is possibly French or Continental European. I haven’t been able to identify it, unfortunately, however the shape of the heart and the way the gold has been used does help place it in history.

The heart shape has transformed over time, finally reaching its current shape with the cleft top and straight pointed bottom during the Victorian period (1800’s). Prior to this the shape of a heart was more in line with the shape of our blood pumping organ by the same name; it was smooth across the top and more rounded at the bottom. In some cultures the heart developed a point that swept off to one side, now referred to as a “witches heart”.

There is another lesser-known connection to the shape of the heart as a token of romantic love, and it has to do with a small and now unfortunately extinct little plant whose seed pods were heart-shaped. Silphium was the Ancient World’s favourite contraceptive, taken as a monthly tincture. Its growth was restricted to a small piece of land in Cyrenaica (now Libya) as it failed to germinate anywhere else. Unfortunately it was over-harvested into extinction by 2nd century CE. Silphium was “worth more than its weight in silver” and many ancient coins feature an image of this helpful little plant.

Rock crystal is another term for transparent clear quartz – it is prized for its hardness and total lack of colour or flaws. It’s also extremely hard and resistant to scratching. The two halves of our rock crystal heart are held together with exquisitely handmade gold fittings. Having not been able to identify the hallmark I had the gold XRF tested for gold content: the result was 16ct, perhaps a generous mixture of gold intended to be 15ct. The locket opens smoothly and closes securely. Two little gold bobbles to the side of the locket aid in opening and closing the piece. The hinge is in perfect working order. Indeed there are no flaws or faults to note in this truly lovely little jewel.

The locket measures approximately 18.5mm from top to bottom (not including the loop or bail) x 17.5mm wide and 4.5mm deep. The large bail has a diameter of 8mm

1 in stock

Description

Continental European in origin, this delightful handmade 16ct rose gold and rock crystal locket is a tiny dream.

Dating from the mid 1800’s the locket measures approximately 18.5mm from top to bottom (not including the loop or bail) x 17.5mm wide and 4.5mm deep. The large bail has a diameter of 8mm

Additional information

Era

1800s, likely French in origin

Materials

gold content XRF tests as 16ct gold
Clear windows are made from rock crystal (clear, colourless quartz)

Dimensions

Height (not including bail): 18.5mm
Width: 17.2mm
Depth: 4.7mm