Thursday, October 25, 2012

Maltese Cross Pin Ruby Red Crystal Gold Brooch 1950s Vintage Jewelry

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Of all the brooches I've loved collecting over the past 40 years, vintage Maltese crosses are among my top favorites because of the endless variety. All US jewelry makers made Maltese crosses and it is possible to collect dozens, each from a different designer.

At the same time, many Maltese cross pins were designer made and not signed... and no one knows why. To collect Maltese cross pins, what you mainly want to look for is the quality of construction and the uniqueness of the design.

Maltese crosses in just gold metal and red crystals, like this one, are exceedingly rare to find. After you have looked closely at several hundred vintage Maltese crosses, you will know what designs are unique!

This unsigned beauty is visually commanding at first signt. The triple layered glistening gold metal is designed in parallelograms and pendant shapes in an open work fashion. The gold metal is hash marked, or crimped, that creates a strong sparkling effect. Most prominent are the 9 large deep Ruby Red crystal chatons; all table top faceted and prong set. The ruby red crystals have spectacular regal sparkle because they are vintage Austrian crystals with a high lead conent.

The prong setting are well worth noting here. Look at the back of the brooch and notice how each crystal setting is cup shaped and the center setting is riveted in place. The back of the brooch is also finished in textured gold. This is a very well made quality designer brooch reminiscent of Judy Lee, Cadoro, Panetta, Richelieu or Givenchy.

The brooch is weighty by construction but not heavy to wear. Large in size, the cross is 2 1/4" or 55 mm wide. The crystals are 8.5 mm and 11 mm at the center. In pristine clean spectacular flawless condition, all of the crystals are perfect with no scratches, chips, cracks, or facet wear. There is no missing gold or gold wear. The back has the original fine working safety clasp.
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