Gutta-percha is a genus of tropical trees native to the Southeast Asia and northern Australasia regions. An inelastic natural latex material is produced from the sap of the trees which is also referred to as gutta-percha. The beneficial properties were discovered by Westerners in 1842, and the substance was initially used as an electrical insulator. A few years later gutta-percha became a popular material used to manufacture furniture and then mourning jewelry because it was easily carved and very resilient.
This incredible and unusual necklace is a fabulous example of jewelry crafted out of Gutta-percha from the Victorian (ca1880) era! This bold and beautiful piece is comprised of what appears to be 3 complimentary strands of sizable links to form one long chain. The combination of ebony colored strands include interlocking anchor links (also known as mariner links), hexagonal shaped links, and graduated anchor links featuring a wonderful scalloped edge. The long necklace fastens with a large darkened sterling silver spring clasp (stamped "925"), however, thanks to its generous length, the chain can easily slip on and off overhead, and could be worn long, doubled, or even tripled for a layered look. This versatile necklace looks beautiful worn alone or could be paired with a complimentary pendant for a bold look. A unique and dramatic piece, it would make a fabulous addition to any collection!
Measurements: The chain measures approximately 58" long. The Gutta-percha links range in size, with the smallest links measuring slightly less than 3/4" wide, about 1/2" tall, and 1/8" thick, and the largest links measuring about 1 1/4" wide, 3/4" tall, and 1/4" thick. The inside of the spring ring clasp measures slightly less than 1/2" in diameter.
Condition: The overall condition of the necklace is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the Gutta-percha links and the spring ring clasp is secure and in good working condition.