I am very excited about this amazing find! While I am still doing research on the piece, I can share what I think about it so far. This beautiful little, but tall pin dates to the mid to late 18th century to the early 19th century. It also did not begin it's life as a pin or brooch. Originally it was used as a slide.
You can see in the above photo that the hardware for the slide was cut or sawed off and replaced with a pin back. Judging from the type of clasp, the pin back was added about 1910 or slightly later. The safety type or fold over clasp was introduced around 1910.
The pin appears to be hollow. You can see a slight separation on the edges. More like a shell, yet the piece is very heavy. Which I attribute to the polished stone. I have not tested the metal content. It is such a bright yellow gold color. It may be 18KT or possibly pinchbeck. Pinchbeck was invented by Christopher Pinchbeck in the 18th century. It's a composition of brass, copper and zinc that resembled real gold.
Pinchbeck was worn by the wealthy as well as the not so wealthy, but for different reasons. The wealthy wore pinchbeck pieces while traveling. Carriage and stagecoach robberies were a concern for the wealthy as they traveled. So they would wear the pinchbeck jewelry while traveling. If they were robbed they would only lose their "costume" jewelry. The not so wealthy wore pinchbeck jewelry because they could own a piece of beautiful jewelry at a more affordable price. The recipe for pinchbeck was past down to Pinchbeck's sons, but is now lost to the ages. Pinchbeck pieces are now very sought after by collectors.
The stone appears to be a large polished ruby. When held to the light you can see glimpses of it's beautiful color. The workmanship is amazing in this piece! Very ornate. I hope to give an update on my findings and research soon. It will not be listed in my shop until I know more about it. Even then, I may not be able to part with it. It is such an amazing feeling to know that you are holding something in your hands that was handmade over 200 years ago. To know that it was worn and cherished over 200 years ago. It is so easy to let my imagination just run wild and conjure up images in my head!
Take a peek in my Wicked Darling shop on Etsy. I have many special pieces there. You are sure to find a treasure! Thanks for stopping by!