You know that thing where you see someone around for a while and you know you want to meet them but it takes you a while to make it happen? That’s exactly how it was for me and Jogani’s antique cat’s eye necklace.
I saw it on Jogani’s Instagram, then I saw it pop up on some other people’s pages – my cat’s eye necklace was out there, it was making friends, but I hadn’t yet found a way to get an introduction to it.
Then: it found me.
I was walking the show floor at the Original Miami Beach Antique show (more about that soon) and I saw Jogani’s sign. I headed over, because I’d learned at Lueur that they are as friendly as their treasures are swoonworthy, and then I saw it. The cat’s eye necklace of my dreams, sitting there waiting for me.
Let’s talk about what makes this necklace remarkable.
Item #1 is the obvious one: it’s effing gorgeous.
Masterfully articulated swags of diamonds, designed with elegantly architectural swoops and lines as well as elegant floral elements and perfect diamond bows. The diamond cuts are all over the place – from rose cuts to at least one table cut, which suggests that they might have been removed from other jewelry or at least collected from a number of sources to create this wonder.
Jogani thinks that this spectacular piece dates to the 1800’s, although they told me that not enough is known about it yet to have an exact date estimate. The diamond swags of the design certainty feel Edwardian, so perhaps that’s a clue that this beautiful thing came to being in the later end of the 19th century, rather than earlier.
The fine folks of Jogani are still hoping to uncover someone who knows something about this piece’s prior history – it should be possible, since it’s so distinctive – but they have’t found anything yet. (If you have seen this cat’s eye necklace or something like it elsewhere, please let me know!)
The second reason that this necklace is remarkable has nothing to do with how appealing it is; it’s that it’s SO UNUSUAL.
Every single non-diamond gemstone in this incredible piece is a chatoyant gem.
Chatoyant gems – gems with a structure that bends the light in certain ways, like star sapphire and cat’s eye chrysoberyl – have been popular in jewelry at various times throughout history because they’re so interesting. But I have never ever in all of my online jewelry browsing (prodigious) and visiting jewelry stores and shows (higher than average) have I seen anything remotely like this…and neither has anyone else I’ve shown it to.
Here’s the American Gemological Laboratories map of their analysis of this necklace, showing which gemstones are where. And yes, Jogani did whip this out for me at the show so I could compare them in person. Please note the mind-blowing assortment of chatoyent gems present: chrysoberyl, quartz, sapphire, garnet, beryl (emerald), just to point out a few. Alexandrite is a particularly unusual stone, which I’ve never seen in cabochon form before, let alone in chatoyent cabochon form.
Please note that while I’ve been calling this the “cat’s eye necklace” that a number of the gemstones actually display star effects.
Jogani think there’s a good chance this piece must have been made for royalty, simply because it’s hard to imagine how else something so unique (and expensive) could have come to exist. Thank goodness it did, though, right?
Here it is on ME. (WHERE IT BELONGS.)
I would have told you I wanted to wear this with a LBD, but I actually think it looks amazing with my red dress
Normally when I try a piece on, I attempt some selfies and then take it off and take better pictures of it in my hand. In this case, I took very few pictures of the cat’s eye necklace off of my body simply because I didn’t want to take it off, and once I DID take it off I had to walk away to avoid any embarrassing occurrences like me trying to barter for it in exchange for something like my unborn children or a kidney.
Yeah. It was a little like that.
What do you think, my darlings? Do you love this antique cat’s eye necklace as much as I do?
Thank you, lovely people of Jogani, for letting me wear this beautiful thing in Miami for longer than was probably appropriate. I will treasure the memory.
Close up and selfies by yours truly; all other necklace photos are c/o Jogani. Creepy Gollum meme source here.