Saturday, 8 March 2014

A brief history of briolettes

A briolette is an elongated pear-shaped gemstone cut with facets across its entire surface reflecting light from any angle. Usually briolettes are cross-drilled near the tip allowing them to be wire wrapped or threaded onto a wire or pin.

Popular during Victorian times, briolettes however were fashioned in India as early as the 17th century when they were favoured by royalty and aristocrats. Briolettes became popular in Europe when the famous French traveller Jean-Baptiste brought them back from India.

In Victorian and Edwardian times briolettes were enjoyed by Art Deco designers but fell un-popular due to the prohibitive cost of cutting them from precious material. Briolettes are now cut from a wide range of gemstones including Rutile Quartz,  Turquoise, Carnelian, Amethyst, Labradorite, Lapis Lazuli, and Chalcendony to suit all budgets.

Briolettes are one of our most popular types of bead, with many makers choosing to wrap them with wire which gives a decorative flourish to the bead and allows it to be hung as an earring or pendant.

For design inspiration using briolettes visit and follow us on Pinterest.

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