Dating to c.1890, this ribbon-motif brooch is set with a large, natural sapphire and studded with white old mine-cut diamonds!
Measuring a perfectly-proportioned 1 3/4" x 1", this exquisite brooch reminds me of the modern "ribbons for a cause" that have become so popular today, and this Victorian jewel also has a cause - 'cause it's so beautiful! The focal point of this lovely jewel is the gorgeous, natural Ceylon sapphire that takes center stage. This untreated stone measures 7.39 mm x 4.8 mm x 3.2 mm and weighs a calculated .89 carat on it's own! My graduate gemologist graded this sapphire as natural and unheated, eye-clean, with strong blue color (GIA B 5/5), the BEST color that a sapphire of this origin can boast of!
And indeed., this antique cut sapphire is the MOST luscious shade of medium royal blue, and displays the zoning and "silk" under 10x magnification which gives these special, untreated gemstones their depth of color. The sapphire is securely set with 13 long silver claws in an open-backed, "buttercup" style setting of sterling-grade silver (unmarked but tested). This sapphire pre-dates high heat treatment by over 60 years; this dazzling royal blue shade comes straight from Mother Nature!
Surrounding the sapphire is a halo of small but dazzling white old mine-cut diamonds; fifteen in all! The diamonds are gently graduated in size, ranging from 2.74 mm - 2.05 mm, for a total diamond weight of .77 carat. It is impressive that these are all fully-cut diamonds, and not rose-cuts or melees; the lapidary who crafted this brooch definitely opted for quality over size! The total carat weight of the diamonds grade as G-I in color and VS-SI clarity. The diamonds add up to .73 carat, for a total weight of 1.67 carats of beautiful antique gems!
Each diamond is set with four to eight long silver claws (more claws for the larger stones), and the silver settings have developed a fabulous patina which only the passing of generations can impart - I doubt if this brooch has ever been cleaned! The open work, textured silver frame finishes off this uniquely beautiful jewel. The reverse of this beauty displays the original silver and 14k gold "T and C" clasp (maker's mark "NB" on the pin stem), as well as 14k gold and silver hooks above and below; this allows the brooch to be worn as a pendant for even more versatility! SO SPLENDID!
My GIA GG graded the value of this cunning jewel at $4,025.00, and this valuation will be sold with the ring for your insurance purposes at no extra charge. Weighing in at 10.71 grams, this jewel just lights up on a lapel or sweater, and the design is even more popular today than when it was first made of a lady of wealth and fashion over 130 years ago! This is very likely a one-of-a-kind jewel; in my 30 years as a dealer, collector and scholar of antique jewelry, I have never seen one like it!
If you love the best in Victorian jewelry, this sapphire and diamond ribbon brooch will make a splendid addition to your collection! It would also make a superb holiday gift for that special lady, and will be shipped in a gift box. Most fine antique jewelry dealers would ask $2500 for the sapphire alone, but I got a good deal, so why shouldn't you? Do not miss this stunner; up to 90-day layaway is available, and USPS Priority mail shipping is FREE!
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