The magic word
Elegant ring with large natural pearl & diamonds in gold & platinum, circa 1910
"As is well known, pearls today form the magic word that makes the heart of every worldly lady beat faster, and to an ever-increasing degree pearls are pushing the red-hot rubies, the sparkling emeralds, even the flashing brilliants into the background." - This could be read in the Deutsche Goldschmiede-Zeitung in 1910. And indeed, in those years, beautiful, large pearls were treated like colored gemstones and diamonds and often constituted the main setting of a piece of jewelry. It was the time before the invention of the cultured pearl, when every natural pearl still had to be elaborately dipped to dangerous depths. Just as with diamonds, the value of a pearl increased exponentially with its size and it was not uncommon for the price of fine pearls to exceed that of diamonds of the same size. A large natural pearl of beautiful baroque form has been chosen as the center of the present ring. In fact, it appears that the entire ring was designed and forged around this one pearl. In contrast to the natural shape of the pearl and its silky luster, the ring head has been designed to be simple and geometric. Two larger old-cut diamonds of about 0.55 carats together accompany the pearl at the bottom and top, and the entire frame of the rectangular ring head has also been set with diamonds. In total, 28 diamonds are set on the ring. Typical of the time, the face is made of platinum, while the ring band is forged of gold. The ring is excellently preserved and finished. A wonderful jewel from the last years of the Belle Époque, which found its way to us here in Berlin!
"The beauty bestowed upon pearls is worthy of thousands of daring divers, coast dwellers of the Persian Gulf, the daring pearl fishermen of Ceylon and Japan, who do not fear the terrors and dangers of the deep, the encounter with sharks and sawfish, the deadly embrace of the polyps, in order to bring the pearl shells lying on the dark sea bottom to the bright light of the sun. But not every one of these shells rewards the toil and complaint of its robber, and hundreds deceive the hopeful expectation of delicious contents. If, however, one is found which contains the longed-for treasure, it is not infrequent that it gives the lucky finder many pearls of different sizes. Varied in form, in colour from the deepest black to the most dazzling white, often also yellowish, more rarely shimmering in pink, lovely by its glittering enamel, the pearl has known how to win for itself in its esteem the place next to the colour-sparkling diamond." With these words the magazine "Der Bazar" in 1888 described the toils and dangers of pearl fishing. The passage vividly shows us why pearls were so precious in those years - for the invention of the cultured pearl and with it the assured, danger-free harvesting of the precious gem was still in the future. Accordingly, fine natural pearls were often not just framing accessories, but were chosen as the protagonists of precious jewels.
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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.