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sterling and siam Czech glass earrings
maude - $20
Part of the Catnip Collection
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These lovely earrings feature siam Czech glass beads on sterling silver ear wires.

This earrings measures 0.75 inches in length.

You can view other Czech Glass jewelry items here, or Sterling Silver items here.

The oldest discovery of glass beads within the Czech Republic dates from the early bronze age, when this territory was populated by Celts who knew the technology of glassmaking and enamel.

It was not until the mid-16th Century that a major glass industry was founded in the cities of Jablonec, Stanovsko, and Bedrichov (modern Reichenberg) in Bohemia (in the current Czech Republic). These glass makers were mostly decentralized cottage crafters making beads for use in larger, centralized, jewelry factories.

The industrial revolution of the 19th century brought machines that could produce a vast variety of beads based on a process of pressing molten glass into a heated mold. The only limiting factor was process of manufacturing the molds, which was both difficult and precise. Cottage crafters were given several molds for each bead press and turned out beads to order for their local factory.

In the 20th century, the two World Wars not only disrupted, but nearly collapsed the bead making industry. After the wars, Bohemia became part of the new state of Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) and the Czech became the largest bead exporters in the world.

Sterling silver is a white, highly reflective precious metal composed of 925 parts of pure silver and 75 parts alloy, usually copper. Copper provides the silver with sufficient hardness and wearing qualities, as pure silver is sometimes considered too soft to be used or worn everyday.

At times, we oxidize or "antique" our finished sterling pieces to blacken the recessed areas, and then rub the rest of the piece to a high white shine. Oxidizing can give a piece of jewelry wonderful depth and rustic feel.

maude - $20