The technique of piercing, to achieve the results one can observe in
Edwardian Jewellery, was not easy to master and pieces do exist where
attempts were made to imitate the effect using wires, but they dated
to later periods. There are also pieces which were cast from the
made from Edwardian pieces, they also look like they were made from
First you should be aware that Hallmarking in England was very
strictly enforced. In the Edwardian Period jewellers were using
silver solder to joint platinum. The piece constructed of wire would
have never have made through the hallmarking. Even if a jeweller had
superior soldering skills, still the risk was to great, because
pieces that were sub-par were destroyed.
Second to make platinum wire in that period was extremely difficult.
Wire making required frequent annealing. Platinum should be brought
to bright orange to remove work hardening. Since most of the heat
sources at that time were carbon based and platinum is easily
contaminated with carbon at high temperatures, the technological
limitations were difficult to overcome and platinum wire was used
very infrequently. It is for that reason, the pieces constructed of
platinum wire should be a suspect for dating errors.
The third reason is that wire due to its round cross-section, even
when it is flattened, does not have the required strength. To insure
strength, the pieces were pierced in such a way that it looked like
thin wire from the top, but was much thicker on the inside; the
cross-section of every element was triangular, so the pieces were
looking very light, but also were very strong. When inner walls were
polished, so the thickness on the bottom was invisible. Polishing was
done with coarse thread also held in a saw frame. The technique was
very pain-staking and that is why many attempts were made to replace
the whole process with something else at later time.
That is why the term “Edwardian Jewellery” has a very precise
meaning for jewellers and it is that meaning that I was referring to.