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The 17th -18th Centuries & Filigree

However, in the 17th Century due to refined methods of faceting gems the emphasis moved once more from precious metals to gemstones, and the diamond became the preferred item for jewelry. The 18th Century brought with it industrial development and mass production. Cheaper materials were utilized, in addition to gold and semi-precious gemstones, including base-metal alloys, paste to make imitation gemstones, steel and cast iron. With these cheaper methods of production jewelry techniques changed their emphasis from the artisans to less skilled mechanical processes of stamping and cutting out patterns and settings. It was during the end of the 19th Century that Peter Carl Faberge, jeweler to the Russian Tsars, reintroduced an exacting craftsmanship into jewelry design. Similar to the artisan jewelers of the Renaissance,Faberge
specialized in the contrast of colors and materials, and his most original designs are those that combine gold Filigree, and colored gems such as alexandrite named after the Tsar Alexander on his birthday in 1830.