Antique Pools of Light Rock Crystal orb necklace
This antique choker is one of our favorite types of antique jewelry, a necklace made of a string of 21 rock crystal orbs called 'pools of light'. Each sphere of naturally formed, transparent quartz is hand polished to a perfect round and is perfectly limpid, free of inclusions or imperfections. It was believed that in order for these crystals, originally imported from China and Japan, to maintain their powers, they could not be drilled or they would lose their magic, or their 'chi'. Thus all pools of light are held in place with some kind of framework on the outside of the sphere and are never drilled as a bead would be.
In this necklace, each orb is held in place by a sterling silver wire, referred to as 'picture frame wire'. The wires act like a lasso which hug a groove around the equator of each globe of crystal.
'Pools of light' were so named because when worn in natural light, the spherical crystals refract the light so that they seem to glow like little magical orbs of water or drops of light. Their popularity began in the late Victorian period and ended around the 1930's. Most of these crystals are believe to have been imported from China directly as part of the then-fascination with Asian decorative arts.
An interesting note about these crystals is that unlike spheres of other materials, they will always flip upside down the image of the background behind them, much like the lens of an eye or camera. The word 'crystal' is an Old English Word descended from the French 'cristal' and in turn the Greek and Latin words, 'krustallos' and 'crystallum' which meant ice, or something resembling ice. Early dicoveries of crystal were believed to be frozen ice which would never thaw...Pools of light are an apt embodiment of this idea.
- Sterling Silver, Rock Crystal.
- Each orb is 12mm in diameter (9/16")
- 7mm Spring Ring clasp.