For ages and across cultures, the sapphire has been used in a variety of talismanic ways. Medieval royals thought the gem simultaneously attracted wealth and protected against envy. Necromancers used it to reveal clairvoyant messages carried by ghosts. A thousand years ago, more common folk ingested powdered sapphire to combat sickness and as an antidote to poison. More appealingly, the blue stone has become (over the last century or two) a symbol for honor and trust. This Edwardian cluster ring features a 1.05ct blue sapphire within a surround of 12 bright diamonds. Please note that 8 of the diamonds are old European cuts that are original to the ring, the other 4 are transitional cuts and are most likely replacement stones.
EDWARDIAN (1900 - 1910)
The Edwardian era gets its name from King Edward VII’s brief reign at the beginning of the 20th century. His Danish bride Alexandra was young, lovely, and fashionable; with a taste for trendy pieces rendered in diamonds and pearls. The jewelry tended toward airy lightness, often in the form of lacy filigree. The world was changing rapidly, but lots of the jewelry still reflected the Victorian ideals of decorum and femininity. Ancient Roman and Greek influences remained popular.
“White” jewelry became popular as plentiful deposits of platinum were discovered in Russia and improved smelting technology made it possible for jewelers to work in the noble metal. Platinum was seldom used by jewelers in earlier years owing both to its scarcity and high melting point. The jewelry trade took advantage of its rigid strength to create opulent openwork settings for increasingly brilliant diamonds. The old European cut was perfected, rounder and squatter than old mine. This took stone-cutting one step closer to the mathematically perfect round brilliant cut, which is the most popular diamond cut today. The now-iconic square Asscher cut was patented in 1902.
Hot on the heels of platinum, the alloy mixture that produces white gold was formulated and patented in 1915 in New York City. With Europe in the grip of WW1, the American jewelry industry was poised to become a world leader and innovator.