Victorian Black Enamel, Pearl and Rose Cut Diamond Gypsy Star Mourning Ring

$1,100.00
About Details History
A starry night of a mourning ring has a fascinating history: underneath the memorial engraving "J.E.A. 19th July 1888" there's a second, fainter, older inscription. Does it say 1851? 1868? There is a space for a hair locket inside the band, but it's long gone. We wonder who repurposed this ring, and why. Glossy black enamel surrounds three golden stars, two studded with rose cut diamonds, one with a half-pearl.  

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  • Materials: tests as 14k, 4mm split pearl, 2 x 2mm rose cut diamonds
  • Age: c. 1870
  • Condition: Well-loved but very good. Hair locket is gone. Faint engravings along the sides with numbers barely visible indicate there was a second earlier memorial inscription, possibly 1851 and 68. 
  • Size: US 6.75. Resizing is not recommended. 2.1mm hoop, 7.9mm head.
  • Location: to see this piece in person, please visit our shop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. 
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VICTORIAN (1837 - 1901) The Western world was thoroughly transformed during Queen Victoria’s epically long reign. New technology, urbanization, and industrialization created a middle class flush with disposable income, and for the first time, jewelry was mass-produced to sell to everyone. The Victorians were avid consumers and novelty-seekers, especially when it came to fashion, and numerous fads came and went throughout the 19th century. In jewelry, whatever fashion choices Queen V. made reverberated throughout the kingdom. The Romantic period reflected the queen’s legendary love for her husband, Albert. Jewelry from this period featured joyful designs like flowers, hearts, and birds, all which often had symbolic meaning. The queen’s betrothal ring was made in the shape of a snake, which stood for love, fidelity, and eternity. The exuberant tone shifted after Prince Albert passed away in 1861, marking the beginning of the Grand Period. Black jewelry became de rigeur as the Queen and her subjects entered “mourning,” which at the time represented not just an emotional state, as we conceive of it today, but a specific manner of conduct and dress. She wore the color black for the remainder of her life, and we see lots of black onyx, enamel, jet, and gutta percha in the jewelry from this time. Finally, during the late Victorian period, which transitioned along with a rapidly changing world into the “Aesthetic Movemement”, there was a return to organic and whimsical motifs: serpents, crescent moons, animals, and Japonaisserie designed for the more liberated “Gibson Girl”. During the second half of the 19th century, America entered the global jewelry market, with Tiffany and Co. leading the way. Lapidaries continued to perfect their techniques, and the old European cut emerged toward the end of the Victorian period. The discovery of rich diamond mines in South Africa made the colorless stones more accessible than ever before.
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About Details History
A starry night of a mourning ring has a fascinating history: underneath the memorial engraving "J.E.A. 19th July 1888" there's a second, fainter, older inscription. Does it say 1851? 1868? There is a space for a hair locket inside the band, but it's long gone. We wonder who repurposed this ring, and why. Glossy black enamel surrounds three golden stars, two studded with rose cut diamonds, one with a half-pearl.  

less
more
 

  • Materials: tests as 14k, 4mm split pearl, 2 x 2mm rose cut diamonds
  • Age: c. 1870
  • Condition: Well-loved but very good. Hair locket is gone. Faint engravings along the sides with numbers barely visible indicate there was a second earlier memorial inscription, possibly 1851 and 68. 
  • Size: US 6.75. Resizing is not recommended. 2.1mm hoop, 7.9mm head.
  • Location: to see this piece in person, please visit our shop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. 
less
more
VICTORIAN (1837 - 1901) The Western world was thoroughly transformed during Queen Victoria’s epically long reign. New technology, urbanization, and industrialization created a middle class flush with disposable income, and for the first time, jewelry was mass-produced to sell to everyone. The Victorians were avid consumers and novelty-seekers, especially when it came to fashion, and numerous fads came and went throughout the 19th century. In jewelry, whatever fashion choices Queen V. made reverberated throughout the kingdom. The Romantic period reflected the queen’s legendary love for her husband, Albert. Jewelry from this period featured joyful designs like flowers, hearts, and birds, all which often had symbolic meaning. The queen’s betrothal ring was made in the shape of a snake, which stood for love, fidelity, and eternity. The exuberant tone shifted after Prince Albert passed away in 1861, marking the beginning of the Grand Period. Black jewelry became de rigeur as the Queen and her subjects entered “mourning,” which at the time represented not just an emotional state, as we conceive of it today, but a specific manner of conduct and dress. She wore the color black for the remainder of her life, and we see lots of black onyx, enamel, jet, and gutta percha in the jewelry from this time. Finally, during the late Victorian period, which transitioned along with a rapidly changing world into the “Aesthetic Movemement”, there was a return to organic and whimsical motifs: serpents, crescent moons, animals, and Japonaisserie designed for the more liberated “Gibson Girl”. During the second half of the 19th century, America entered the global jewelry market, with Tiffany and Co. leading the way. Lapidaries continued to perfect their techniques, and the old European cut emerged toward the end of the Victorian period. The discovery of rich diamond mines in South Africa made the colorless stones more accessible than ever before.
less
more