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I don’t know if you caught last night’s Antiques Roadshow (which I’m very much addicted to) but they had a segment on steel jewelry that blew me away. They featured two types of jewelry; cut steel and Berlin Iron. Cut steel jewelry is made of tiny faceted pieces of steel that are affixed to a base plate and were highly popular as a substitute for diamonds in the 18th century. When worn at night they shimmer as diamonds would. Berlin Iron, however, is cast iron jewelry that originated in Berlin in about 1804. During the Prussian war with Napoleon citizens were encouraged to donate their gold and silver to the cause and were given these iron jewels as replacements. They later caught on elsewhere as mourning jewelry as they are naturally black. I can’t decide which style I like better, but here are some beautiful examples of both styles.

 

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