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 Terms and Descriptions for Antique & Vintage Cufflinks
 
 
Aesthetic – Engraved symbols of flowers and butterflies, natural motifs, female faces. 

Chased – A raised design moulded into the metal from the reverse side not cut into the mould. 

Chrome – Shiny metal, the same as on cars, particularly popular in the 1920’s and 1930’s. 

Edwardian – Cufflinks made between 1901 and 1910. 

Enamel – Literally a pigment of vitreous nature composed of powdered potash and silica bound with oil and coloured with metallic oxides.  Block enamel is not transparent, guilloche enamel is – see separate description. 

Engine-Turned – A technique of engraving with a continuous pattern, produced by hand or machine. 

Fix – French mark denoting gold chasing – always a high quality. 

Foliate – Motifs of flowers or leaves. 

Gilt Metal – Gold plate on base metal. 

Gold Fronted – A layer of gold over a base metal core. 

Gold Filled – The same as gold cased. 

Gold Plated – A process of electroplating, can be very thin. 

Guilloche Enamel – The process of covering engine-turned with transparent enamel through which you can still see the engine-turned design. 

Import Marks – Foreign items that may have their own marks but have also been assayed on import and have English hallmarks as well as the import symbol – an oval with a cross through it. 

Intaglio – A design etched out from the reverse side of domed glass, crystal, quartz or other material.  Sometimes then in-filled with enamel paint. 

Niello – A process of inlaying powdered matt alloy into silver particularly used in France and Russia and also Turkey (though usually with less finesse).  The effect looks rather like polished grey steel and silver. 

Paste – A substance used to simulate precious stones, but different to glass. 

Rose Gold – Gold has alloys in it to make it useable.  Pure gold is too soft to be practical.  One of the alloys used is copper, this gives gold a pinkish tint which was particularly popular in the late 1890’s and the early part of the 20th century. 

Silver Gilt – Gold plating on a silver base – also called gold on silver. 

Victorian – Cufflinks made between 1837 and 1901. 

White Metal – The term used to describe silver that is not hallmarked with British hallmarks. 

Yellow Metal – The term used to describe gold that is not hallmarked with British hallmarks.
 
 

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Guilloche Enamel Cufflinks

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Antique gold & enamel cufflinks

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