Raj Era Elephant Hair Ring

About Details History

From the mid-eighteenth century until the mid-nineteenth century, India was under British rule (or "Raj", in Hindustani).  At this time, colonial men loved to go on safari, where they'd shoot big game from the back of an elephant. Brits often commissioned souvenir jewelry made from their favorite mount's hair. This wonderfully made ring has this weird, wonderful origin - a single strand of elephant hair is set in buttery 18k gold.

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  • Materials: 18k gold, elephant hair
  • Age: c. 1900 
  • Condition: good. 
  • Size: US 5.5. It can't be re-sized, sorry. 
  • Location: to see this piece in person, please visit our shop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. 
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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.
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About Details History

From the mid-eighteenth century until the mid-nineteenth century, India was under British rule (or "Raj", in Hindustani).  At this time, colonial men loved to go on safari, where they'd shoot big game from the back of an elephant. Brits often commissioned souvenir jewelry made from their favorite mount's hair. This wonderfully made ring has this weird, wonderful origin - a single strand of elephant hair is set in buttery 18k gold.

less
more
 

  • Materials: 18k gold, elephant hair
  • Age: c. 1900 
  • Condition: good. 
  • Size: US 5.5. It can't be re-sized, sorry. 
  • Location: to see this piece in person, please visit our shop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. 
less
more
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.
less
more