A rare pair of aluminium and gilt metal earrings, circa 1860. When the new white metal aluminium was first isolated in the 1820’s, it was so costly to produce that it was classified as a precious metal and was initially more expensive than gold. The impact of aluminium’s scientific novelty as jewellery cannot be underestimated and aluminium pieces shown at the 1855 Paris Exhibition caused a sensation. These aluminium earrings have domed textured drops suspended from textured ball tops. The ear wires are gold. They are 1.5 inches long including ear wire, 1 and 1/4 inches long excluding wire and 3/4 of an inch wide across the front. Immaculate condition. For similar items of aluminium jewellery see the V & A jewellery collection.