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Vintage Crystal and Operculum Earrings

$85.00

Vintage Crystal and Operculum Earrings

$85.00

Description

These one-of-a-kind earrings feature operculum shells and rock crystal links, c. 1900 - 1920.    Because these unusual shells resemble eyes, they were thought to have protective qualities and were quite popular in jewelry created in the late 1800s to the 1930s.

There are two options for these earrings: one with an 15 x 10 mm emerald cut rock crystal and the other with a smaller, 8 mm round faceted crystal stone.

Details and Materials

  • 1 1/2 - 1 3/4” long
  • vintage rock crystal links
  • antique operculum and faux tortoise shell drops
  • 14K gold-filled ear wires 

Origin Story

In Latin, the word "operculum" means lid or cover, and these shells provided a protective cover for certain sea and land snails.   Operculum jewelry was popular during Victorian times and said to ward off evil and bring good luck. These pieces were often brought back by sailors for loved ones when traveling through the south seas and referred to as "Sailor's Valentines."