The Georgian period encompasses the reigns of the four King Georges from 1714 to 1830. During this period, the aristocracy made it a point to flaunt their wealth by making sure they were absolutely dripping with jewels at all times. Although engagement rings were a rarity - they weren't commonly given until the Victorian era - the exception to this rule was the crowned heart ring which conveyed that the recipient was the ruler of the giver's heart. These increasingly hard-to-find rings would be given to one's betrothed as a token of love and devotion, literally and figuratively crowning her "the queen of hearts".
This crowned heart ring c.1780 is made in 10k yellow gold and silver. The .30ct garnet heart (really more of a teardrop shape) is table cut and set in gold. The eight rose-cut diamonds that decorate the shoulders and crown range in size from .01 to .07ct for approximately a total of .28ctw. These diamonds are in closed silver settings and backed in silver foil, as was the style of the period (we recommend removing the ring when showering, swimming or washing hands to prevent moisture from seeping in which might cause the foil to darken or oxidize).
GEORGIAN (1714 - 1837)
The Georgian Era was named for the English Kings George I, II, III and IV. Within the powerful nations of France and England, fine gemstone jewelry was worn only by the extremely wealthy, and the styles were regal and ornate. As imperialist war raged in the Americas, Caribbean, Australia, and beyond, the jewelry industry benefited: colored gems from all over the empire became newly available.
A mix of artistic influences from around Europe contributed to the feminine, glittering jewels of the era. Dense, ornate Baroque motifs from Italy showed up in Georgian jewelry, as did French Rococo’s undulating flora and fauna. Neoclassical style made use of Greek and Roman motifs, which were newly popular due to the recently uncovered ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Lapidary methods improved: the dome-shaped rose cut was popular, as was the “old mine cut”, a very early iteration of today’s round brilliant cut. The boat-shaped marquise diamond cut was developed around this time, supposedly to imitate the smile of Louis XV’s mistress, the marquise de Pompadour. Paste—an imitation gemstone made from leaded glass—was newly developed in the 18th century, and set into jewelry with the same creativity and care as its more precious counterparts.
Real and imitation gems were almost always set in closed-backed settings, lined on the underside with thin sheets of foil to enhance the color of the stone and highlight it's sparkle. This makes Georgian rings tough for modern women to wear, especially on an everyday basis: genteel, jewelry-owning ladies of the 18th century were not famous for working with their hands like we are. Nor did they wash their hands as much as we do. Water will virtually ruin a foiled setting, so take special care with your Georgian ring. Very little jewelry from this period is still in circulation, and it's very difficult to repair.