What is Mizpah Jewellery

21/11/2016 140 0 0

What is Mizpah Jewellery?


Mizpah jewellery was popular during the Victorian era from the mid- to late-1800s and was generally given to a loved one during a period of long separation such as military service or travel. It was generally given as a "forget-me-not," and symbolised a bond of love between two people.

   

Example of Mizpah vintage brooch  and love heart brooch from vintage collection
at
 Modern Vintage Style

The word Mizpah—comes from the Old Testament (Genesis 31:49, "And Mizpah; for he said, The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent from one another") and can be found marked on a substantial amount of jewellery from the period. Predominately produced in England and America, the most commonly found examples of Mizpah Jewellery are brooches and rings . They were made from silver, gold or brass and range from simple bands and bars with very little decoration to more complex arrangements of entwined hearts, roses, vines of ivy, anchors, and lengthy inscriptions. Because antique Mizpah jewellery was mostly mass-produced, most examples of Mizpah found today can be bought for under $500, while the sheer variety of designs makes them a pleasure to collect.
 

When was Mizpah jewellery popular? 

As Mentioned Mizphah jewellery first became popular in the 1850s and 1860s during the Victoria era and this continued  through the 1880s before it became less popular. The jewellery experienced a revival, however, in the early part of the 1900s, when men required to leave their families to fight in World War 1.

Towards the end of the war interest in the pieces waned and they never really regained popularity,  athough some “sweetheart jewellery” was also popular during World War II.


Why wear Mizpah jewelry? 

The formality of the Victorian age meant that, courting couples had strict rules for example , they were often chaperoned on outings until they were married.

The social niceties of the time limited gift options between men and women. A man in those times would never have bought a woman and item of clothing, and giving a necklace or bracelet might have suggested a closer relationship than what was acceptable so people had to be very careful with what gifts were being offered. This is where Mizpah jewellery came into play as they could be safely exchanged as tokens of affection, while meeting the social requirements of the days. There was also the belief that Mizpah had a certain power, that it was some form of protection for the wearer.

What is Mizpah Jewellery made of?

Most Mizpah jewellery was made of  silver. While a few special pieces were gold or gold and silver and occasionally Mizpah rings even featured diamonds, most of it was made of  silver, as it was accessible to society as a whole.Some of the items, including the heart-shaped pins and lockets, could be broken two pieces so each person could wear a part.

How much is Mizpah Jewellery worth? 
It is generally very affordable jewellery , as much of it was mass produced,. 
Mizpah brooches and pins in silver can range between £100 and £200 while gold pins can range from  from £300 to £450 or more.