Pearlie Queen: Victorian Gold Seed Pearl and Diamond Pin

As I wrote earlier, I found two hidden treasures in the jewellery lot I bought for the Anna Wintour necklace. The first was the brass and horn bangle. The second was a tiny Victorian diamond and seed pearl pin. THe piece is in amazing shape except for one tragic thing: The original C-clasp on the back was replaced with a rolling clasp, and the replacement was solder on with lead. This kind of repair was common because c-clasps often broke off, or because later owners preferred the security of the rolling lock. And lead was used because it has a low melt temperature — soldering gold on gold would require the resetting of the wee pearls and would probably melt the metal anyway.

Anyway, I’d like to figure out how to wear these little brooches in my hair. Or maybe on a choker?

Lead repairs do lower the value of a piece. Any repair does, but lead, because on an elemental level, it’s hard to scrap gold after it mixes with lead. It’s just not healthy.