Stuart Crystal Ring with "AB" Cipher and Old Mine Cut Diamonds

$3,600.00
About Details History
"Stuart crystal" is a style of jewelry which originated as a form of mourning (or protest) jewelry after the execution of King Charles I of the House of Stuart in 1649. The first Stuart crystal jewels were pendants or rings that featured the initials of the slain king, or a portrait miniature of HRH, set beneath a distinctive-looking faceted rock crystal with a large table (ergo, "Stuart crystal"). Later variations included cufflinks, buttons, earrings, and slides, in addition to the original pendants and rings. These 18th century versions were mounted in gold and featured a fine hairwork background with a gold wire border and cipher or other image such as a skeleton or cherub. Stuart crystals might include the initials of the owner, a loved one, or the deceased. This Stuart crystal ring features a gold wire "AB" cipher on a ground of hair flanked by two old mine cut diamonds in rub-over settings. The gems are all set in silver atop an 18k gold mounting. The reverse of the head features the fine fluting characteristic of the period. This piece is in outstanding antique condition, but that said, it is very very old and should be worn with care and removed before showering, washing your hands, swimming, etc.

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  • Materials: 18k gold (tests), silver, 6 x 6.9mm rock crystal, 2 x approximately 2.8mm old mine cut diamonds, gold wire cipher, hair
  • Age: c. 1700
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Size: US 8.5, can be resized for an additional fee of $90; 1.7mm hoop
  • Location: To see this ring in person please visit our shop in Nolita, NYC.
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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.
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About Details History
"Stuart crystal" is a style of jewelry which originated as a form of mourning (or protest) jewelry after the execution of King Charles I of the House of Stuart in 1649. The first Stuart crystal jewels were pendants or rings that featured the initials of the slain king, or a portrait miniature of HRH, set beneath a distinctive-looking faceted rock crystal with a large table (ergo, "Stuart crystal"). Later variations included cufflinks, buttons, earrings, and slides, in addition to the original pendants and rings. These 18th century versions were mounted in gold and featured a fine hairwork background with a gold wire border and cipher or other image such as a skeleton or cherub. Stuart crystals might include the initials of the owner, a loved one, or the deceased. This Stuart crystal ring features a gold wire "AB" cipher on a ground of hair flanked by two old mine cut diamonds in rub-over settings. The gems are all set in silver atop an 18k gold mounting. The reverse of the head features the fine fluting characteristic of the period. This piece is in outstanding antique condition, but that said, it is very very old and should be worn with care and removed before showering, washing your hands, swimming, etc.

less
more

  • Materials: 18k gold (tests), silver, 6 x 6.9mm rock crystal, 2 x approximately 2.8mm old mine cut diamonds, gold wire cipher, hair
  • Age: c. 1700
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Size: US 8.5, can be resized for an additional fee of $90; 1.7mm hoop
  • Location: To see this ring in person please visit our shop in Nolita, NYC.
less
more
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.
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more