opals are a girl's best friend
October 9, 2012 9:27 PM   Subscribe

JewelryFilter: Please help me identify the stones and settings of two pendants.

I was given two pendants by my grandmother. I know they're not worth anything, but I'm curious to know what type of stones they have (I think mostly opals?) and any information about the name, style, or era of these particular types of settings.

Here are two pictures - Necklace 1 has a sort of delicate filigree gold setting with teensy diamonds, and Necklace 2 is set in a a three-tiered teardrop configuration.
posted by socks are for puppets to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total)
The main stones look like milk opals, also known as milky opals or white opals.

The top pendant is probably diamond, yes. The bottom pendant looks to have sapphires.

I'm no expert on antique jewellery, but they look Victorian in style to me. Whether they're from the Victorian era or pendants from a later era that reference Victorian style is something that hallmarks could help you ascertain. Did you find any? Hallmarks are typically stamped on the back of a pendant, or sometimes on the bail. You may need a magnifying glass to read them. Assuming the metal is gold, they should also have a stamp designating the carat. This will typically be a number followed by the letter k, like 9k or 14k.

Do you know how long your grandmother had the pendants, or where they came from?

Incidentally, I do think they could be worth something. Not pots of money, but a bit. A trustworthy dealer in antique jewellery could tell you how old they are and also give an approximation of value, if you're curious.
posted by Georgina at 10:48 PM on October 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Those definitely look like opals, and I'd guess they're from the '30s or '40s, but the MetaFilter user you want to answer this question is peagood.
posted by Specklet at 10:49 PM on October 9, 2012

I'm 99% certain they're opals, the other 1% leaning towards rainbow moonstone.
posted by essexjan at 6:21 AM on October 10, 2012

Opal on the left, moonstone or opal on the right. A local jeweler would be able to do an appraisal for you - older jewelry can often be worth more than you'd expect. Also, with the cost of gold being so high, you may want to insure the pieces. We have our wedding rings insured - it's fairly cheap, about $35 a year to add them as a rider to our renters (homeowners, if you own a home) insurance.
posted by RogueTech at 7:56 AM on October 10, 2012

Opals were very popular in the middle of the 20th century. I've got a few from my Grandmother.

They're like pearls in that you have to be very careful with them. Don't get perfume or hairspray on them. Wipe them with a soft cloth before storing them, etc.

They're really neat old pieces. Enjoy them!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:16 PM on October 10, 2012

It would help to have pictures of the backs of the pendants and the clasp. Also, are there any markings anywhere on either piece?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 2:16 PM on October 10, 2012

The main stones are opals. The accent stones may or may not be diamonds; there are many other clear-ish gems.

It's impossible to tell how old without more information. For instance, if they are marked as 14k, they're perhaps more likely turn-of-the-century based on the color of the gold. But that theory falls apart if they are 18k or if they are plated.
posted by desuetude at 11:31 PM on October 10, 2012

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