French paste is a vintage jewelry term used to describe the practice of using faceted cut glass, cut in the shape of a real gemstone, instead of using gems. This process, developed in the 1700s, created the look of a sparkling gemstone or diamond but cost much less than real stones.
A beautiful pair of petite French paste earrings from the Victorian (ca1880s) era! These lovely earrings are crafted in 14kt rosy yellow gold and have a simple and feminine design. Each begins with a gold clasped earring wire attached at the back of an black enameled surmount which has a flourish-shaped motif. Dangling below is a complementary link featuring a sparkling French paste stone faceted in an old Cushion Cut fashion, and suspended in a raised prong setting. Each stone rests at the center of an octagonal-shaped onyx plaque attached to a gold backing and gold clovers adorn three sides of the hanging link. The faceted paste stones sparkle beautifully and closely resemble real diamonds and the rich, contrasting onyx gives the earrings a wonderful look. A simply stunning pair of earrings, they would look beautiful worn day or night!
Measurements: Each earring hangs about 1" long (including the wires), and is approximately 1/2" wide and slightly more than 5/16" deep.
Condition: The overall condition of the earrings is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the gold setting or earring wires. The French paste crystals and onyx stones are securely set, and free of significant chips or scratches.