Hiding behind a smile

Gold is precious for many reasons and has been used since ancient times to construct sarcophagi for Egyptian kings until the present day where you will find gold elements in your mobile phones and computers. There is no end to the uses of gold but perhaps one use that often is forgotten about is in dentistry which makes up around 5% of the world’s gold use.

Our ancient ancestors were perhaps as proud of their appearances as we are today and as early as 2500BC, missing teeth were often replaced with dentures made from wolf teeth held together with gold wire. In Ancient Egypt, many dental procedures were performed after death to ensure that they were sent to the afterlife looking their best. This often included using gold wire to replace missing teeth with donor teeth from poorer individuals. Even America’s founding father George Washington was famed for having a set of dentures made from hippo ivory, brass and gold and would regularly send these off to his dentist for maintenance work.



In the late 1960’s in South Africa, many people would get permanent gold teeth not as a display of wealth but purely as a fashion trend and many of these people included celebrities and even pastors. As gold represents light in South Africa, it is said that it has the ability to ward off evil spirits such as the Tikoloshe who was afraid of light which explains why pastors would favour gold teeth.

It’s like the saying about waiting for a bus and two come along at the same time because there is not one but two lots of gold dental related lots from different vendors! Lots 360 and 424 each with gold base plates, have served a practical purpose and come with estimates of £100 - £200 each. Nobody knew what was hiding behind the smiles of their original owners!

You might not want to sink your teeth into this lot but at least they give you something to smile about.


Click to view the complete jewellery catalogue. >>

Amy Cameron


McTear’s sells more jewellery than any other traditional auction house in the dedicated jewellery auctions that take place twice monthly, run concurrently live online on a platform that attracts six million visitors annually from over 120 countries worldwide.

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