US Size: 7.00
Total Carat Weight: 0.10 ctw
Precious Metal Weight: 1.47
Precious Metal Material: 14k yellow gold
Dimensions: 6.7 mm north to south (height) and ~ 3.0 mm rise from the finger (depth) at the ring face; band tapers to 1.9 mm at the base of the shank
Weight: 2.28 grams
Markings: None (rings of this period were rarely, if ever, marked)
Era: Est. c. 1800-1860; This ring appears to have been altered to remove a closed back setting. As such, we can only approximate the date range given other stylistic and material characteristics.
Buyer Notes: This ring is singular in every way, every attribute adding character with pride. If you are in the market for a perfect piece of jewelry, this ring is not for you; it absolutely emanates alluring imperfection. This ring is not in a condition suitable for everyday wear, so is not a good candidate for an alternative engagement ring. Rather, it is a true collector’s piece and ought to be worn and cared for as such.
- Center Stone Type: Diamond
- Center Stone Count: Three (3)
- Center Stone Carat Weight: Approx. 0.10 ctw
- Center Stone Dimension: Approx. 4 x 3 mm (center) & 1 x 1 mm (side diamonds)
- Center Stone Shape: Oval Rose Cut
- Center Stone Color: Light Champagne
- Center Stone Clarity: I1
An incredibly unusual find, this gold ring has its origins in the Georgian era. It is mounted with a trilogy of champagne oval rose cut diamonds, the largest in the center, all of which are bezeled within a sterling silver crimped collet setting. These diamonds were each selected, cut, faceted and polished by the hand of an artisan well over 200 years ago, thus exhibiting charming imperfections and loving wear of time. These diamonds would have originally had a closed back, with a thin sheet of foil slipped between the back of the diamonds and the closed backing. Foiling gemstones was a clever and common practice to visually reflect light and cause stones to ‘sparkle’.
However, at some point in this ring’s history, the backing has been removed so as to allow light to naturally enter and refract within the diamonds. This change is visible inside the ring face, as well as at the base of the sterling collets, where there is excess solder present (it is charcoal gray in color, but nearly seems as if it is actually part of the design of the ring). We choose to perceive such changes as proudly showcased, since the ring is something of a wearable timeline of jewelry history. Today with open backs, the diamonds show a very light champagne hue. Their faceting causes this warm coloration to twinkle, especially in low light; rose cuts were specifically designed to dance in evening candlelight. This ring is such a fascinating combination of old and new jewelry ‘technology’, and it does not fail to dazzle even after such a transitional lifetime.
The shoulders of the ring bear an incised and reticulated crisscross fretwork, and show inverse silhouettes of one another. It is believed that the shoulder designs are intended to be a stylized allusion to the form of a snake. The “snake skin” pattern on the ring’s shoulders are emphasized with traces of bright cobalt blue enameling, which rests within the depressed areas of the design. This enameling has, naturally, worn away somewhat at the outermost areas of the ring’s shoulders, likely where the wearers’ neighboring fingers have polished the paint away over time.
During the Georgian and Victorian periods, snakes were extremely common themes within jewelry, as they symbolized eternity and the inevitability of death, yet also thus, the preciousness of life. Snakes represented self-evolution, transformation, growth, wisdom and enlightenment. Indeed, these ‘messages’ meant that the snake was prevalent in mourning jewelry, but it was also used in sentimental pieces too: the idea of ‘eternity’ conveyed a love letter of lasting devotion and committed affection. Even Queen Victoria was presented a snake band as an engagement ring by Prince Albert!
This ring is extraordinary, with virtually no other comparable jewels like it on the market. It is a captivating nod to over two hundred years of jewelry history, changing fashion and technologies, is an invaluable remnant of both love and loss, and boasts the singularity of human craftsmanship and imagination. Without a doubt, this one of a kind ring is no less delightful today than when it was made.