*Note… learning about this brooch I have had tucked away for years!
The popularity of Victorian stone or “pebble” jewelry encouraged by Queen Victoria and it began as a souvenir of her trips to Scotland. From the mid-1800s Queen Victoria frequented Scotland and her Scottish castle, Balmoral, and Scotland became a popular place to view the sites, with Scottish dress and jewelry being fashionable, too. By the later 1800s it was being made in England and Germany as well.
All varieties of chalcedony were very popular inVictorian Jewelry. Moss agate, known for its green tree-like patterns was a particular favorite. Bloodstone was often used for cameos and intaglios for gentleman’s jewelry. Carnelian, also popular for intaglios, is often found in beads from the Victorian Era. Banded stones like sardonyx and onyx were used extensively for cameos and some of the most interesting beads feature banded agate. The term “hard stone” used in reference to a cameo usually refers to some form of chalcedony.
Victorian Era Scottish jewelry features many and varied combinations of chalcedony cut en cabachon and faceted sent in silver and sometimes gold. Often the pieces are fitted together mosaic style. Scottish agate or pebble jewelry as it is sometimes called, became fashionable after Victoria bought Balmoral Castle in 1848.