Berlin Iron: A Sure Sign of Patriotism

During the Napoleonic Wars, the King of Prussia asked loyal citizens to give up their gold and silver jewelry to finance the war effort. They did, but they also got something in exchange: jewelry made of iron. The black forged jewelry was not as valuable on the surface, but it made a statement in that the person wearing it was obviously a patriot who made a sacrifice to defeat Napoleon. Collectors Weekly talked to jewelry collector Agram.m about Berlin iron, its history, and what distinguishes it from other antique jewelry.

(Image credit: the Victoria and Albert Museum)


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