Find Of The Year: Victorian Girandole Earrings

Forgive me if you’re sick of hearing about these earrings, but I’ve had so much fun researching them. And the research has really paid off.

To recap: First I found them at the Value Village (five bucks!!!). Then I found a similar pair listed on 1st Dibs (see below). That pair had the original box (Edward Bright Goldsmith and Jeweller, Brighton), which lead an estimated date of manufacture – around 1870.

Then I saw a picture of Kristen Wiig wearing a similar pair from Fred Leighton to the Emmys. I had assumed that my versions were brass, but the similarities made me have second thoughts. Last week I finally took them in to be tested for gold content and they are at least 14k (my jeweller didn’t want to test for 18k because he didn’t want to risk damaging them with another scratch test).

On the way home, I got to wondering if Fred Leighton loaned them out to other actresses. So I fell into a research hole and found this above image of Julianna Margulies at last fall’s amFAR benefit.

Even though these earrings don’t have the provenance of the $7,000 set on 1st Dibs, they do have a story. My thrift shop earrings have a twin that parades down red carpets. Plus they are beautiful. And that’s why they are my find of the year. Here they are again, ready for their closeup.