A c. 1820 Georgian parure of Scottish agate rivières set in 12k rose gold, comprising a necklace, bracelet, pendant, and earrings, crafted as interlinking cabochon panels of mossy variegated agate set within cut-down collets. This setting style is well-regarded for its clean and minimalist look, an iconic representation of Neoclassical restraint and elegance. Until about c. 1830, when ornamentation like cannetille and granulation became popular, this cut-down collet style was the standard setting treatment for most gemstone jewelry made in Britain. The word ‘rivière’ was not frequently used during the British Georgian period to describe jewelry and could not be found in such context in the British fashion magazine, La Belle Assemblée, between 1800 to 1830. In the September 1806 issue, an illustration of rivière-type jewels was described as “necklace; and ear-rings of amethysts, linked with wrought gold” (p. 386). In France, however, the word rivière (meaning ‘river’) was used to describe diamond necklaces since the 18th century, probably because the brilliants were thought to ‘flow’ around the neck like a river. The French diplomat Talleyrand for instance used the word rivière in writing about the infamous 1784 Affair of the Diamond Necklace. By the late 1830s, the phrase “rivière of diamonds” began appearing in British print, initially to describe the Napoleon Diamond Necklace by Marie-Étienne Nitot. By the late 19th century, the use of ‘rivière’ to describe linked gemstone necklaces became commonplace in Britain, appearing in jeweler’s catalogues and fictional writing alike. What we now consider Georgian rivière jewelry typically feature faceted translucent gems or pastes, but unusual materials were also used. A 1824 date inscribed rivière illustrated on p. 46 of Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830 by Ginny Redington Dawes with Olivia Collins for example features polished panels of yew wood. Various specimens of agate were also popular alternatives. Page 501 from the September 1806 issue of La Belle Assemblée mentions, “The necklace; of mocho-stone, set in wrought gold, is now held in esteem; and broaches, of various precious minerals, are variously applied.” As explained in the 1792 gem classification by Matthew Guthrie (1743–1807), an 18th c gemmologist, “Mocho Stone is a fine variety of agate with beautiful arborizations.” During the Georgian era, what is now known as moss or dendritic agate was called “mocho stone” and Scottish agate “Scotch pebble”. The July 1807 issue of La Belle Assemblée notes, “Bracelets are now worn of different orders … with variegated stud; the other of Scotch pebbles, or mocho stone, set in gold” (p. 283). While Scottish jewelry would not take on a distinctive regional look as popular souvenir exports until the Victorian era, agates found and mined in Scotland were used for jewelry throughout Britain since at least the late 18th century. In his gem classification guide, Matthew Guthrie wrote that “In Scotland [agates] occur at Kinoul hill [Kinnoull hill, Perthshire], Dundee, Montrose, Redhead, Kirkside, Ayrshire, Fife, etc.” The Enlightenment had encouraged the development of mineralogy and geology for scientific study and as a passion hobby for “gentlemen scientists”, who roamed the countryside in search of specimens. Throughout Britain, there was interest in the distinctive hardstones of various regions, culminating in the founding of the Museum of Economic Geology in 1835. The poet Robert Burns (1759-1796) for instance owned a cravat pin and a set of buttons set with “Scotch pebble” he picked up from Braemar. Queen Victoria herself owned a set of jewelry, inscription dated 1841 and 1853, set with polished hardstones collected from Woburn Abbey, Rapley Lake, Claremont, Brighton, and other places visited in the 1840s. This craze for “pebble collecting” supported an industry linking rural suppliers in the Scottish countryside with urban lapidaries in Edinburgh and distributors in Birmingham, London and further afield (see p. 125, The Material Landscapes of Scotland’s Jewellery Craft, 1780-1914 by Sarah Laurenson). Some Scottish agates are distinctive enough to be associated with a specific location: for example, the striated blue-gray stones from Montrose on the Scottish east coast, and the dramatic red-yellow mottled jaspagates from Burn Anne near Kilmarnock in Ayrshire (see p. 461, Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria by Charlotte Gere and Judy Rudoe). Georgian rivière. Georgian rivière. Georgian rivière.