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When Prussia rebelled against the Napoleontic occupation , 'Berlin iron' jewels, produced in Berlin from 1804, became the voque. Between 1813 and 1814 when money was badly needed to equip the Prussian troops, patriotoc women were persuaded to give their gold and precious ornaments to the State: in exchange they received iron jewels, often bearing the inscription: 'Gold gab ich für Eisen, 1813' (I gave gold for iron, 1813).
The fashion and technique of cast iron was not to remain a German monopoly. Soon after the war, jewels in this material were produced in France in fashionable designs of neo-classical inspiration. Gold mesh bracelets with cameo clasps, and necklaces of cameos linked by skeins of chains, were skilfully reproduced in cast iron.
Curiously, Berlin Iron jewelry remained in favour until the mid-century, adapting its desings to the prevailing taste.
From: Understanding Jewellery, autors: David Bennett & Daniela Mascetti, publishers:Antique Collectors' Club