This crescent-shaped piece of jewelry, known as a gorget, has a long history behind its form. Originally, the gorget was a piece of fabric worn around a woman’s neck. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the term was used to describe a piece of armor that protected the neck. As suits of armor fell by the wayside, the gorget became unnecessary, evolving into a decorative item. As a decorative item, the term gorget has been used to describe crescent-shaped medallions worn around the neck or affixed to the front of a military cap. Currently, the gorget can also seen in the form of a patch. The decorative versions of the gorget are often used as status symbols or awards.
This gorgeous sterling silver gorget, hand engraved by Doug Elder, would definitely fall into the decorative category. Doug liked that there is a history of these decorative pieces in his home state. Gorgets were worn on South Carolina soldiers’ hats during the Civil War, and many historians tie the crescent on the state flag to these gorgets. “The significance of the gorget in the history of South Carolina made it a perfect canvas for my Western style engraving,” he said.
Catching the light at every angle, bright cut scrolls spread symmetrically from the center of the gorget. A single flower nestles in the middle, serving as an origin for the scrolls. With the beauty that Doug’s bright cut adds to this gorget, it is easy to see why such a piece could be used as a status symbol or award.
Has a historical piece ever inspired your engraving? We’d love to hear about it! Send photos and story to firstname.lastname@example.org.