Victorian 14kt Gold American Gypsy Horseshoe Cuff Bracelet
The history of the American Gypsy and Gypsy jewelry remains a tale of intrigue and fascination of many. Gypsies, or Roma people, first arrived to the United States as slaves with Columbus in 1492, however, the largest wave of Romani immigrants came after the abolition of Romani slavery in Romania in 1864. They came, men, women and children, wearing their gold jewelry as they have throughout history. This jewelry is extremely rare as it was considered to bring security and good luck and to act against illness to the wearer. They would wear a piece of jewelry with the horseshoe pointed upwards so that the good fortune would not flow out. Gypsies were nomadic people and did not believe in bank accounts, stocks or bonds, so they wore their wealth on their bodies. Gypsy tradition was against selling gold unless there was a dire need and all but one piece, which was given to the eldest daughter, was buried with the deceased. The motifs were consistent, twisted wire, star-shaped flowers, engraved lines and a prevalent horseshoe. Due to the rarity and intrigue of Gypsy jewelry, the value is not in the gold itself, but in the beauty and scarcity of piece.
This American Gypsy bracelet is an absolutely gorgeous example of historical Romani jewelry. Crafted in 14kt yellow gold, the piece is a cuff-style bracelet which is particularly wide and bold in look. The bracelet graduates slightly, with the widest part at the center, and features a prominent horseshoe at the center framed by two large star-shaped flowers on either side. The flowers have a bulging, convex body, with only the tips of the petals attached to the surface and gold twisted wirework outlines the entire design. A soft and flowing etched motif covers the entire surface of the bracelet, creating a fantastic textured and dynamic appearance. The interior is stamped "14K" and the piece would fit nicely on a small to average sized wrist. An incredible find and historically rich piece, this bracelet is sure to make any collection complete!
Measurement: The surface of the bracelet measures approximately 1 3/4" at the widest point, while the narrowest part measures 1 3/8” wide. The piece is 1/8" at its thickest point. The opening where the wrist would slide through is slightly less than 1” wide.
Condition: The overall condition of this bracelet is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the gold cuff or to the raised and etched design.