Cairngorm

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Scottish kilt pin 50-1-1940.jpg


Cairngorm is the name given to a citrine quartz variety with an amber or brown color traditionally mined in the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland. During the Victorian period cairngorms were extensively used in traditional Scottish jewelry such as kilt ornaments, bonnet brooches, or carved thistle shapes. Local lapidaries in Edinburgh were skilled in cutting and faceting the gems to produce stones of a rich, brilliant orange color that were much esteemed and desired. Large sized cairngorms were particularly prized and often handed down through families. Their popularity led to the local source becoming overworked and heat-treated Brazillian amethysts or glass are now often used imitations.


Sources Consulted

  • Scarisbrick, Diana. Scottish Jewellery: A Victorian Passion. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. VendomPress, 2009.
Lang Antiques
Lang Antiques