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snowflakes2When I need a lift, I’m drawn to sparkly, shiny things. I like making them (here are some beaded snowflakes I made for a church fundraiser). As an author, I also like surfing around and looking at sparkly things, calling it research.



Here are a few amberearringsitems I love. This pair of amber earrings from Ruby Lane is just lovely. At $3500 they are a bit out of my budget, of course. So now I’m fighting the temptation to go browse Fire Mountain Gems (my go-to jewelry makers’ porn) to see if I can get findings to create my own version. If I do that, I’ll report back on how it went.

One thing that has always fascinated me is Georgian era paste–you know, the stuff that the aristocrats in our stories use to create replicas of the heirloom jewelry they sell to pay gaming debts. To me, it always sounded like something inferior, but having seen some examples, I think it’s lovely. I’ve been infatuated with this paste parure from Georgian Jewelry for a number of years now, sadly sold but I can still admire it from afar.


The happy news is that there are jewelry makers out there creating lovely and affordable designs that can mimic favorite Georgian and Regency styles. One can find a number of them on Etsy.


These “emeralds” from Sacred Cake look as lovely as those in the parure. Maybe I need a new Regency gown to go with them.




And how about these girandole earrings from Dames a La Mode: Accessories for the Lady of Quality? (Don’t you love the store name?)

Do you enjoy sparkly things? Have any favorite period or period-inspired accessories? What are your favorite sources for them?


Posted in Frivolity, Research | Tagged , | 4 Replies

I’m a magpie. I’m drawn to shiny, sparkly things and always have been. I love glitter, sequins, chandeliers, beaded bookmarks and of course, jewelry. It doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, after I lost one of a pair of opal (luckily, not antique) earrings at a hotel, I decided I prefer to own jewelry I won’t feel terribly guilty about losing. I’m most attracted to jewelry that is unusual, vintage or artsy. I’ve even dabbled in jewelry making; though my results are not professional, it’s fun.

I love when I have to research jewelry for a story. One of my favorite sources is Three Graces Antique Jewelry, a good place for research and fantasy shopping. Most of the images in this post are from Three Graces. I based a ring in one of my books on this one, substituting sapphires for the rubies.

I’ve also learned that for the heroine on a budget like me, there were options that were less expensive than gold and gemstones.

I remember seeing the term “pinchbeck” in Georgette Heyer novel and wondered what it meant. It turns out it’s an alloy of copper and zinc invented by Christopher Pinchbeck (1670-1732) and used extensively to make durable jewelry that was less expensive than gold. The earrings to the left are gold, to the right, pinchbeck, both early 19th century. I think both are very pretty! One could wear these to a ball, with a pretty white gown if one were young, or with more vibrant colors if older (I love gold with green).

The term “paste” used to make me think of plastic (ugh!) but it actually refers to cut leaded glass faceted to resemble real gemstones. Being softer, it was trickier to cut. And some of it is very pretty as well. Here I have several sets of earrings, diamonds above, paste below. Frankly, I cannot tell the difference! Any of them would be just the thing for a night with my lover at the opera.

The term “parure” refers to a set of matching jewelry. The first is amethyst, the other is emerald-colored paste. I think these parures would be great for a presentation at court. Since the combination of high waists and hoop skirts couldn’t flatter any figure, pretty trinkets like this would help to bring the eye toward the face, instead.

Here are some more period baubles. Can you guess what period they are and can you tell the paste and pinchbeck from the real? (Don’t worry if you can’t–I was very surprised by some of them.) Where would you wear them?


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 11 Replies
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