ber·lin i·ron | (ˌ)bər-ˈlin ˈī(-ə)rn
Cast iron jewelry, worked into delicate openwork patterns, and made in Berlin during the first half of the nineteenth century
This term refers to cast-iron jewelry created in Germany during the early 19th century. The first jewelry pieces created using this method - which was first used to create iron pieces such as vases, knife stands, and bowls - were long chains with cast links. The next pieces of jewelry created with this method were necklaces with medallions and joined with links and wirework mesh. Production of Berlin Iron jewelry reached its peak from 1813 to 1815 during the War of Liberation against Napoleon. During this time, the Prussian Royal family encouraged its citizens to donate their gold and silver for war efforts, and in return were given Berlin Iron jewelry such as rings and brooches, commonly inscribed in German with the words “Gold gab ich für Eisen” (I gave gold for iron). These pieces became a symbol of patriotism and loyalty to the Prussian Empire. War time Berlin Iron jewelry represented a cultural shift in how and why iron jewelry was worn during this time period, as most commoners had previously only worn iron mourning jewelry up until the War of Liberation.