This piece is similar to the work I do incorporating symbols with
Here is what I see in the design:
A circular piece in gold which I believe may be a pendant, as I see
no evidence of a pin assembly.
It originally held 10 concentrically placed old mine cut diamonds
set in bezels which protected them more than the prong set
sapphires. With 8 or 9 of the diamonds still present, in the melted
I think I can see the old mine cut culets on the back of the piece,
poking through the organic grime. And a fish eye table on at least
one of the diamonds on the bottom of the front.
On the back, I also see beautifully detailed stem spirals and
trefoil leaves set between each diamond.
The focus of the piece is a byzantine style pectoral cross probably
set with prong set sapphires.
The symbols between the arms of the cross are key. They may be
stylized capital letters of the Greek alphabet.
I see a partially melted Omega on the bottom of the back.
I see a stylized Phi at the top of the back.
The third symbol, if read from the center of the cross, may be Mu.
If read hanging as a pendant, with Omega being at the top, the
stylized symbol may be Sigma, or Epsilon, as we’re trying to crunch
it into a triangular space. Artistic license, you know.
The sharpness of the remaining detail indicates that it may have
been packed in something which partially protected it.
The Celts, Catholics, and Greek Orthodox all use both the Byzantine
Pectoral cross, and the Trefoil symbols, though the Celts usually use
an interwoven Trefoil.
The Greeks, as well as Sororities use the capital Greek letters.
Without knowing the size, this piece seems more feminine than
If they are indeed, old mine cut diamonds, then we have a reduced
Guesses all, without inspecting it myself, but I feel we must help
Mark Rubenstein on his honorable quest to return it to it’s family.
If you want to clean this piece up a bit, without subjecting it to
the harshness of an ultrasonic which could rattle some of it apart, I
have had very good luck on really old pieces using Oxyclean granules
dissolved in hot water to soak the piece overnight, and using a soft
toothbrush to coax the grime out next day. This is much gentler than
a lye bath. Then perhaps you may find hallmarks identifying the
jeweler, or country of origin of this custom piece.
I hope that some of the liturgical jewelers on Orchid will weigh in
on this puzzle.
Please do follow up on this piece, and it’s journey home, as I for
one love knowing that Good Karma has manifested yet again!