He saved every penny, wore his socks until he was darning the darns that he’d already darned before. He thought about her all the time, his Kate, she was in his dreams and in his waking thoughts, he cherished their every moment together and went over them time and again in his mind until the details had worn off and they were soft and smooth as an old penny. He knew the sound of her footstep and he lived for the sound of her laughter. He knew she’d say yes, knew she’d marry him even if it was an old shoe lace that he wrapped around her finger, but he didn’t want that, he wanted a proper ring, that she’d wear for all of their long life together.
So he saved. First he bought one small diamond and then another to match, he worked hard at his job as a printers apprentice and the printer gave him more responsibility and more money. On the day that he bought the center stone he carefully unwrapped all three and planned out the ring in his mind, studying the stones, seeing their detail by daylight and by candlelight. He took them to the jeweler the very next day. In one week he would have a ring. A proper, glowing diamond ring.
The ring sat in a small leather box with a brass clasp inside his jacket pocket. He had planned it all out, he would take her to Pagani’s, a stylish restaurant near Queen’s Hall on Langham Place. He’d booked their most intimate table, the one in the little bow-window at the back, which made the snuggest of nooks.
She arrived in crimson, and her blue eyes sparkled in the shaded electric lights of the restaurant. He’d been nervous all day, and worried that he’d somehow mess it up, but the moment he saw her all his fears and doubts faded away to joy, she was the one, he knew, and this was their night. They ate and talked and laughed and drank champagne until late in the night and when dessert arrive, a Souffle au Cuacao for two, he signaled to the waiter to refill their glasses and he raised his to hers. “To my wife?” he asked with a smile as he slid the little leather box her way. She glanced down at the box and smiled back.
This wonderful Victorian ring was made in England in about 1880. In truth, I know very little about it except what I can surmise from the cut of the stones, from the way it is beautifully hand crafted. One can only perhaps imagine its life up until now. It has no hallmarks and so it’s very possible that it was a custom made ring, no need to pay the assay duty or have it hallmarked if it’s a commission, after all. The stones are very lively hand cut and polished old European cushion cuts, they are chunky and vibrant.
We had our jeweler do a bit of work on the prongs as they were a bit thin, so all the stones have been out and weighed, the center weighs 0.74 carats, the two side stones are 0.35 and 0.36 carats, for a total diamond weight in this ring of 1.45 carats. The stones are clean, but a little bit off color, which was typical for diamonds at this time, as good supply of whiter stones wouldn’t be found for a few more decades. The face of the diamond ring measures 7.5 mm north to south and 9.1 mm across, it sits 5.4 mm off the finger and narrows to 1 mm at the back of the band. At some point someone had a matching band made, it’s also a hand crafted ring and mimics the design of the shoulders of the diamond ring, the band is 3.3 mm wide, I don’t have a photo of it, I’m sorry, I will endeavor to add one soon. Together the rings weigh 7.3 grams, I’ve acid tested both of them and they are 18 karat gold, the band is a size 6 and the diamond ring is a size 6.25. The rings come in this wonderful antique box that I purchased them in when I found them in London.
“So tell me, Kate, will you spend your life letting me try to make you happy?” He asked, cocking his head.
“Yes, William,” She said, “Yes, I will.”
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Victorian Cushion Cut Diamond 3 Stone Engagement Ring 18k Gold with Band
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