This luminous ring was made during the English Regency. During this period in the early 1800's, King George III was deemed unfit to reign and his son, the Prince of Wales, ruled the country in his place. The quatrefoil face is set with pearls clustered around a square-cut emerald - all set in classic Georgian crimped bezels. Smaller pearls and emeralds accent the head and shoulders of this superb ring. The twinned grooved shoulders graduate into a striated hoop. The interior is engraved with the name "Howland." This ring in a size 6.5 and resizing is not recommended. Side note: did you know that pearls can die? It's true, they turn grey and wither away to nothing. To keep your pearls looking lustrous it's important to wear them rather than keep them tucked away in a jewelry box! That said, this ring is very old and may not be suitable for everyday wear.
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.