Pair of Earrings with Snap-on Covers

Date: ca. 1882–85

Geography: Made in New York, New York, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Gold, diamond, and enamel

Dimensions: Earrings: L. 7/8 in. (2.2 cm)
Covers: Diam. 1/2 in. (1.3 cm)

Classification: Jewelry

Credit Line: Purchase, Susan and Jon Rotenstreich Gift, 2001

Accession Number: 2001.234a–d

Description

Beauty and practicality are combined in these diamond drop earrings with removable “coach covers.” Two old mine cut diamonds are set in gold floret, prong mountings and dangle from gold hooks. The spherical, hinged “coach covers,” also made of gold, are coated with black enamel and snap closed to conceal and protect the valuable diamonds while the wearer is traveling. Snap-on earring covers were an American innovation of the 1870s and 80s, and were generally made with black enamel or inconspicuous gold ornamentation.

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