Heart flutters! LOOK at this absolutely beautiful, oh-so-feminine 120+ year old stunner!! From its glowing rose-cuts to its fiery pinkish-red center accented in 18kt yellow gold, this antique French ring is beyond gorgeous.
Circa 1890-1900, hallmarked with the French horse head stamp (Gold 750 (18kt) 1838-1919), with undeniable Art Nouveau-Belle Epoque ("the beautiful era") features, whether you're looking for an absolutely rare engagement ring, or wanting to add a right-hand ring to your collection that no-one else will have, look no further than right here. The only problem with this ring is wishing I had 10 more to list!
With 'Toi et Moi' rings all the rage right now, this variation of the famed 'you & me' look couldn't have come into our inventory at a better time. This beauty holds 2 well-sized natural rose-cut diamonds, varying somewhat in size and shape from each other, but nonetheless, perfectly complementary to each other and the ring. The first is slightly more rounded, measuring about 4.77 x 4.84, with an estimated carat weight of about 0.32ct. The second is more oval-round, measuring approximately 4.86 x 4.19, for an estimated 0.25ct. As rose-cuts and older diamonds do, these sparklers have some slight inclusions visible within them (well, all diamonds have inclusions), along with rougher edges due to cutting techniques 120+ years ago. That said, the charm and glow that comes from antique diamonds can't be matched by the precision-cut diamonds of today, not matter how perfect the cut. Old diamonds and their character make me happy-dance!
The variation of the true 'Toi et Moi' looks comes with the addition of the fiery pinkish-red 'ruby' in its center. While we are calling this gemmy stone a ruby, it *may* be synthetic. We say this as it is so incredibly 'perfect' and lacking impurities that our spidey-sense says 'synthetic'. Early flux-grown rubies were created IN France during the mid to late 19th century, so it is very possible this is an early example of flux-grown corundum. Of course, it could also be another type of gem such as tourmaline or garnet, or a paste-stone, which were commonly used during the Belle Epoque era. As we can't be certain, we are presuming it is synthetic until proven otherwise. It very well could be a stunningly clean Burmese Ruby - its color screams Burma. The red gem measures about 4.05 to 4.15mm round, and is very securely set within 8 petite pointed 18kt yellow gold prongs.
In classic Belle Epoque style, 6 smaller rose-cut diamonds dot the sides of the ring, 3 per side, ranging in size from 1.35 to 1.75mm. It appears the 18kt yellow gold is topped in platinum, as silver would be tarnished or showing patina, and white gold didn't yet exist. We know due to the French horse head stamping that the ring is NO LESS than 18kt yellow gold. Hallmarking in France was, and still is, strictly enforced, so we can be certain that the ring is high-karat gold. Furthermore, the horse head stamp, rather than the more recognized eagle head stamp means that the ring was made outside of the city of Paris, and was most often used on 19th century regional jewelry ( Jan 1, 1801 to Dec 1, 1900), whereas the eagle was used only in Paris itself between 1838-1919, and is the only stamp still used today on French jewelry.
Other hallmarks on the outside of the band include a half-worn (perhaps unevenly stamped) diamond-shaped lozenge that includes letters and possibly a symbol, but these markings are illegible. This lozenge would be the maker's mark. Also lightly stamped inside the band are the numbers '187', possibly an inventory control identifier for the maker, though we cannot be certain.
Currently the ring is a large size 10 3/4 to 11, and it does look to have been sized at some point in its long history. Though quite a bit of gold would need to be removed to size it down, sizing down is possible, however, please always inquire with us before placing your order so we can verify the sizing range with our jeweler.
We'd absolutely love to make this very special antique diamond ring yours, and offer LAYAWAY in order to help do so. Just ask us how so we can get this beauty to you sooner than later!
Thank you for visiting forEVAgems! Happy Shopping!
**The late 19th and early 20th century produced my personal favorite style of fine jewelry. The 'Belle Epoque' era lasted just a short 25 years from 1890 to 1915, encompassing 3 design periods during that time: Art Nouveau, the Arts & Craft movement, and Edwardian. The latter reigned supreme in the early 20th century, where the use of platinum became the go-to metal, creating all-white jewelry pieces that until 1903, hadn't been possible. Though platinum use in small doses had been incorporated for many years before 1903, all-white pieces dominated the Edwardian period after the invention of the oxyacetylene torch allowed for all-platinum pieces to exist.
The Art Nouveau period on the other hand, while stylistically similar in terms of the flowy, feminine and delicate designs that carried through the end of the Edwardian period, started during the Victorian period while Queen Victoria still reigned (1837-1901). High-karat yellow gold topped with platinum or silver was prevalent, with rose-cuts and earlier diamond cuts used more commonly than the chunkier Old European cuts found predominantly in Edwardian jewelry. Nature, enamel and asymmetry were more common versus the perfectly symmetrical, balanced look of the Edwardian period that lead into the well-recognized lines and designs of the Art Deco era.
***forEVAgems is celebrating 15 YEARS at Ruby Lane in 2023! To commemorate this milestone, ALL non-sale jewelry items in 2023 will have 15% OFF applied at the time of purchase as a THANK YOU for your many loyal years to forEVAgems! Whether you've just discovered our shop, or you're returning for your 10th purchase, 15% OFF is promised this ENTIRE year on regular priced beauties!