This 1920s engagement ring is fashioned in 18k yellow gold with a 1.99ct muted, earthy blue spinel within a halo of single cut diamonds.
Spinel occurs in many of the same colors as corundum (aka ruby and sapphire). Red and blue spinel were used and sold interchangeably with ruby and sapphire until the late 18th century when mineralogist Jean Baptiste Louis Rome de Lisle identified it as a different mineral. To this point, here's a fun fact: Sapphire
derives from the Greek word for blue. From antiquity through the middle ages the word "sapphire" was used to describe any blue stone. It was until the relatively modern period that sapphire was recognized as a variety of corundum and owned the name outright.
ART DECO (1915 – 1940)
Art Deco is highly recognizable for its minimalism and futurism. Simultaneous art movements—Cubism, Bauhaus—informed the geometric style, along with “exotic” foreign influences like the Ballet Russe. Motifs like ziggurats and sunbursts, stripped of visual clutter, conveyed the optimism of an increasingly technological world.
In jewelry, the predominant use of white metals let colorful gems take center stage. Stones that were opaque and true in color, like lapis lazuli, onyx, jade, coral, and opal were worked into designs alongside more precious and brilliant gems, like diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. Extra-long beaded necklaces and tasseled “sautoirs” followed the narrow flapper silhouette.
The baguette cut was an Art Deco innovation, and the decade saw increased use of other angular diamond cuts, like the precise caliber cut and the emerald cut. Synthetic gems, like sapphires, were celebrated as a scientific marvel. Marcel Tolkowsky, 21 years old at the time, published the design for the round brilliant cut in 1919.