A Georgian Jewel

Antique gold ring with ruby & diamonds, England circa 1780

More than 200 years old is the present ring, which came to us from an English estate. The years from 1714 to 1830 are known in England as the Georgian Era. The era is named after Kings George I to IV of the House of Hanover. This period also marks the country's ultimate rise to dominance as a world power with a colonial empire that spanned the globe. The art of this epoch was characterized by a return to antiquity and corresponds to classicism on the European continent. During this period, the English upper class favored the life portrayed in many films on their sprawling country estates. The day was devoted to amusements and outdoor sporting activities, while elegant salons dominated social life in the evening. The distinction between day and evening jewellery, with which the English lady took these different requirements into account, also dates from this period. Typical daytime jewellery included rings flanked by a central coloured stone with small diamonds. Our example corresponds exactly to this scheme. A ruby shines in the center of the piece, its vibrant pink hue having a beautiful depth. The stone is held in a closed mirror setting typical of the period and shows slight inclusions of rutile, giving it a silky shimmer on one side. Flanking the ruby on either side are two small old-cut diamonds. A delicate gold rail completes the beautiful ring. The ring of the years around 1780 is very well preserved. Apparently always loved, it was restored in older times and on this occasion its stone setting was renewed: the cuts of the diamonds show that they were cut in the late 19th century. Thus, the ring carries traces of its history, making it the ideal gift for someone interested in English history. Comparable rings can also be found in Ginny Redington Dawes & Olivia Collings: Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830, Woodbridge 2007, on p. 32.

The sapphire is a truly royal stone. Even more frequently than the ruby, it adorns the crowns of the monarchies of Europe: the English state crown sparkles in the light of 18 beautiful stones, and that of the Bohemian king Wenceslas has just as many. And yet it shares many properties with the ruby, because for the mineralogist both stones belong to the group of corundum. The most famous sapphires in the world come from Kashmir, but sapphires are rarely discovered in Kashmir today, and most of the available material was found more than 100 years ago. Kashmir sapphires are so high quality because the best pieces have an excellent, powerful cornflower blue and a sleepy character (as a result of rutile inclusions) that has been described as "blue velvet". Sapphires from Ceylon achieve this quality as well, but glow a rather lighter, sky-blue tone.

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.