Stand and Deliver

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Dangerous Things

” Your money or your life!”  This phrase, and it’s partner “Stand and Deliver” were commonly used demands, issued by highwaymen in the 17th and 18th centuries.  These “gentleman of the road” most often sought out coaches, due to their lack of protection – they robbed the travelers of all valuables, money and jewels and then escaped on horseback.  

In 1720, Christopher Pinchbeck invented an alloy (a unique blend of copper and zinc) that fooled patrons and robbers alike.  It’s rich golden hue made it an ideal choice for fabricating “traveling jewelry”.  The metal was able to be worked into the same complex designs as gold, and it maintained it’s lustrous color.  Christopher named it after himself – calling it “pinchbeck“.

So…  if you were  an avid traveler, it was advantageous to have two identical sets of jewelry; one made from 18 karat gold and the other made from pinchbeck.  We recently purchased these stunning earrings, cleverly made from the ingenious metal.

These close-up photos showcase the beauty of the earrings and allow you to see how easily one could be fooled by pinchbeck.  Made over 200 years ago, the vibrant glow of the metal hasn’t faded one bit.  It’s high karat appearance is the perfect complement to the dazzling purple gems.  

Many other gold substitutes have come and gone, but none were as successful as pinchbeck.  Unfortunately, the family never disclosed their formula, and the secret died with them – making all remaining pieces highly collectible.  

Send me an email at for additional details and pricing.  I’d love to hear from you!

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Shelly Isacco

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