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Focus On A Piece: Round striped flint cufflinks

The rarity of stripped flint

The stripped flint is a type of flint that is a bit pale and has lazily concentric pale and dark stripes that look like rolling sea waves. The pores on the surface of the stone reflect light differently thereby creating the stripes.  This stone can be found only in one place, which is located in the Lesser Poland region.

Unlike other versions of quartz, that are made from the conversion of chalcedony and opal, stripped flint came about from the precipitation of the seawater.  The sea salts crystallized with other minerals such as mica, zircon, iron oxides, clay calcite and others.

How are the cufflinks made?

Cufflinks have been used to fasten shirtsleeves together since the early 17th century, with their early versions being small buttons that were linked by chains.  Over the years, the methods of making cufflinks changed, but the artistic value of these pieces of jewellery remained the same.

Most of cufflinks are made from silver, gold, or steel and then detailing done by the addition of other materials or decorative stones, such as striped flint.  In the case of these round stripped flint cufflinks, silver was used.

A craftsman starts by preparing the top part of the cufflink, where the stone will sit. These are the basis for the detailing of the cufflinks.  The stripped flint is then cut into the shape of the blank metal.  Next, it is polished with careful detailing to ensure that the smothered look and feel is maintained.

The stem of the cufflink is first soldered onto the cufflink and polished before the stripped flint is attached to it.  There are several ways of attaching the flint depending on the desired outcome.  Sometimes the flint occupies the whole surface of the blank or bordered by the blank on the side.  It requires great skill to have the stone attached.  Finally, the whole cufflinks are polished to look attractive.

The stripped flint has refined and unique patterns that give it a stylish and refreshing look.  It has an allure of elegance, whilst it makes a bold statement without looking too flashy.  When combined with sleeves of a well-ironed shirt, it draws attention but portrays class and sophistication.  The pattern on each stone is unique, making each piece one of a kind.

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