Amusing Antique Comet Pin

Antique comet pins tend to not be very realistic looking. Sometimes I wonder if they truly were created to represent comets, or if collectors just decided to call them comets. It’s not like I have an old photo of a Victorian woman wearing a comet pin at a Comet Halley party, or a painting of Georgian man gifting  his beloved a pin while a comet soars past in the sky. All I know is what today’s experts have told me, and I want to believe them so I do. This little pin here, complete with its own little diagram, helps me believe that these types of pins were indeed created to celebrate the comet!

comet pin funny

Comet ISON is now in that little ball stage far away…but it is getting close and is becoming more visible to us. I am so looking forward to Thanksgiving, when Comet ISON is scheduled to be its most viewable from Earth!

Black Dot Paste

000 comet black dotI purchased this sweet little (late Victorian?) 10k comet pin online. The photo was terrible, and so I was delighted when I got to view this piece in person (or shall I say “in pin”?). Anyway, after taking the above photo I noticed that it has a “black dot paste” gem. Cool!

Paste, in case you don’t know, is basically glass that has been treated as a gemstone. Antique “paste” is very special because it was not mass produced like today’s glass stones are. Black dot paste is a paste stone that has a tiny black dot painted on the bottom. This is supposed to mimic the open culet of early diamond cuts.

I don’t normally purchase items online that have terrible pictures, but this time I lucked out! 🙂

Comet Pan-STARRS

Today marks the arrival of comet Pan-STARRS in the Northern Hemisphere. I live in CA, but sadly we have too many clouds to see anything today. Fortunately, this comet is supposed to stick around for a few days so my fingers are crossed for some good viewing soon. I am wearing the comet necklace that I made today (see the main photo of this blog) as well as one of my antique comet pins:

000 comet topazThe pin above is an example of a classic Edwardian/Victorian Halley’s Comet pin, circa 1910. It is made of rose gold and has a stone that appears to be topaz (though it might be glass “paste”). Like most antique Halley’s Comet pins, it is unsigned.

In the coming days, I will post more pictures of pins from my collection along with what I know about them. if you have any info to add, then please feel free to share it here.

Happy comet viewing!

Ethora’s Comet

00 comet silver

Humans have been making comet jewelry for hundreds of years, and Halley’s Comet has been a particularly rich source of inspiration for jewelers from the Georgian to the Victorian eras. When I first began collecting antique comet jewelry, I lamented the fact that I will probably be too old to work with wire the next time Halley’s Comet comes around. But then, I learned about the ISON comet that is supposed to be spectacular at the the end of this year (and, hello, Pan-STARRS comet!)! To me, this was a sign that I should not let Halley’s schedule get in the way of creating my own version of the comet.

Here is my version of a comet. I crafted this necklace from recycled sterling silver wire, sterling silver chain, and natural snow quartz. Comets consist of rock and ice, hence my choice of gemstone. I am excited about this design. and have plans to expand it further. In the meantime, I will share some of my collection of vintage comet jewelry here. Stay tuned!