1900s 20k gold studs set with natural, hand cleaved diamonds.
These are the classic ear studs of Straits Chinese Peranakan jewelry. There were once as common as any modern pearl studs (I may be exaggerating a little), but just as many pairs have gone down the melting pot.
These ‘bintang’ or star studs were set with either unpolished diamonds (as this pair) or rose cut diamonds. The more Western types were crafted with old European cut diamonds.
While these were once considered commonplace, they were also a mark of wealth. Truly it was only certain families that could afford solid gold jewelry, and not just one pair of such earrings.
These small, almost innocuous ear studs (at least to the bejewelled Peranakan ladies) were worn as starter jewelry for younger girls. Age and affluence urged larger pairs and bigger diamonds into being.
So it is interesting how such raw diamonds seem more exotic to our modern eyes, their subtlety au naturale and bohemian flanked by its high karat yellow.