Old Scotch Jewels
In the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland there are many rare pieces of old Scotch jewelry, many dating from prehistoric times. There, may be seen the different forms which have been adopted, and the varieties of ornament peculiar to Scotland. The bronze examples with Celtic ornamentation include some exceptionally fine pieces, one armlet from Bunrannock, in Perthshire, is very large and the spiral ornament is well executed. There are several armlets with flat expanding ends from Aberdeenshire. The silver brooches, of which there are many, have chiefly interlaced ornament, some being gold-plated, one having an engraved face in relief upon it. Some of the brooches are very large indeed, for instance there are pennanular brooches with interlaced ornament measuring as much as four inches across and some ornamented with gold filigree work are further enriched by amber settings. Similar brooches in silver are also enriched with amber. Silver chains are not uncommon. When digging the Caledonian Canal, near Inverness, a chain of double rings of silver weighing no less than 95 ounces was found, and was with other finds claimed as Treasure Trove.
"In the days when the Vikings came and went no doubt much jewelry and arms were lost. In their graves too, many discoveries have been made. Among the relics of this period in the Edinburgh Museum are oval-shaped brooches similar to those often found in Norway, there is also the hoard of silver ornaments found in the sand-hills near Rin, among them pennanular brooches as large as eight inches across, armrings of twisted wire and other brooches of peculiar shapes. Brooches are very conspicuous among the Edinburgh Museum exhibits; very interesting are those which came from the round towers or 'brooches.' A fine brooch in the British Museum was found in Scotland in Loch Bay, it is of silver and is a massive cloak or shawl fastening; according to repute this noted piece was made from silver from the Isle of Mull, its inscribed back stating that it was made by a 'tinker of the fifteenth century.' . . .
"Much might be said about the use of charms and amulets in Scotland. Amber beads were at one time much worn in the belief that they were remedial in cases of bad eyesight. Charms to cure toothache seem to have been very generally held to be very beneficial, and some of these curious parchments written in fine script were carried about in little silver boxes or mounted in frames and worn like pendants or in lockets."– Fred W. Burgess.
Source: The Jewelers' Circular - 26th July 1922