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Locket brooch

Locket brooch

  • Place of origin:

    United States of America (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold, rock

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the American Friends of the V&A through the generosity of Patricia V. Goldstein

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This brooch is set with a polished specimen of natural rock containing gold ore. Gold was first discovered in the United States in the 1820s in Georgia and North Carolina. However it was the discovery of gold in California in 1849 that precipitated the Gold Rush and resulted in jewellery of this type becoming popular. The San Francisco jewellers Barrett & Sherwood claim to have been the first to make 'Quartz Rock' jewellery, with George C. Shreeve & Co. also of San Francisco advertising similar products soon after. The maker of this particular brooch is unknown.

Physical description

Oval brooch set with a panel of polished rock containing gold ore, with engraved decoration around the border and on the back. The brooch opens to reveal a daguerreotype of a young woman.

Place of Origin

United States of America (made)


ca. 1850 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Gold, rock

Marks and inscriptions



Width: 30 mm, Height: 20 mm, Depth: 11 mm

Descriptive line

Locket brooch, gold, mounted with an oval of gold ore; containing a daguerreotype of a young woman. United States, ca. 1850.


Gold; Rock


Stone setting; Engraving (incising)

Subjects depicted



Jewellery; Metalwork; Photographs


Metalwork Collection

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