One of the great pleasures of working with antiques is that one can see some quite extraordinary pieces. We have recently acquired two quite stunning antique diamond brooches, from the end of the 19th century. They are both of incredible beauty, and convey the skill and talent of goldsmiths of the era. The first […]

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Irish Silver Maker’s Marks Photographs of Irish silver maker’s marks, first letter from M to Z, including some biographical background to each silversmith where possible, in alphabetical order. Matthew Walker Another member of the famous Walker family, Matthew Walker had a very long career, and was an excellent silversmith. He was a Freeman from 1716 […]

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The Pink Star Diamond, which sold this month for $83 million dollars, is one of the most fabulous diamonds in the world. It is the largest fancy vivid pink internally flawless diamond in the world, and weighs in at an astonishing 59.60 carats, making the price paid almost 1,400,000 dollars per carat. It is the […]

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The diamond is the universal symbol of love. Of all its many roles, it is as a messenger of romantic love that the diamond has resonated through the centuries to emerge today as powerful as ever. This began with the belief that Cupid’s arrows were tipped with diamonds. The word diamond is derived from the Greek […]

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Amethyst is a purple coloured gemstone, the most prized member of the quartz family. It has been known of and treasured since the time of the ancient Greeks. Its wine-purple colour lead the Greeks to believe that it would protect one from drunkenness, and keep the wearer clear headed and quick-witted. According to Aristotle, amethyst […]

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Tanzanite is a transparent blue gemstone that was first discovered in 1962 in Tanzania, in East Africa. It is a variety of a mineral called zoisite. Initially only small pockets were discovered, but in the late 1960s a large deposit was discovered, and large-scale mining began. Its immense and sudden popularity was almost entirely due […]

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Irish Silver Maker’s Marks Photographs of Irish silver maker’s marks, first letter from A to L, including some biographical background to each silversmith where possible, in alphabetical order. Anthony Lefebvre Anthony Lefebvre worked in Dublin in the 1730s. He was originally apprenticed to Mary Barrett, one of the few female silversmiths working at the time. His maker’s […]

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As most Antique Cork items do not bear offical assay office marks, they cannot be called “silver”. In the 18th century, it was impractical to send items all the way to Dublin for hallmarking, and the city of Cork was never given its own assay office, despite repeated requests. To overcome this, Cork silversmiths took […]

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Most diamonds in the world are slightly coloured with a faint trace of yellow or brown, although they can exist in almost any colour. The amount of colour a diamond possesses has a huge impact on its value. In increasing order of rarity, yellow diamond is followed by brown, colorless, then by blue, green, black, […]

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While we now understand the crystallography of diamonds, and most, if not all, of their chemical properties, this was not always true. The exact nature of diamonds was a mystery to scientists for many years; many people struggled with the “indestructible” nature of diamonds. It was widely known by the 17th century that they could […]

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