Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Today's WORD-A-DAY: SCOTTISH PEBBLE JEWELRY
Scottish Pebble Jewelry first appeared in the mid-19th century, and quickly became popular with the British Grand Tour travelers, who emulated Queen Victoria's affinity for Scotland and all things Scottish. (Although they couldn't afford to buy Balmoral Castle, as she did, they could easily afford Scottish trinkets.) Called "pebble" jewelry because of the use of indigenous hardstones (such as agates, carnelian, bloodstone, granites and jaspers), these pieces also often incorporated faceted quartz stones such as citrine and amethyst. Scottish pebble jewelry was most commonly made in silver, and often displayed Scottish themes (in engravings or applications), such as clan symbols, knots, and shields. In later years, this type of jewelry found new centers of production, such as Birmingham, and took on more English themes, such as serpents, anchors, and buckles.