High contrast composition

Large antique Art Deco ring in platinum, onyx & diamonds, circa 1928

In the early 20th century, Black advanced from being a colour reserved for mourning jewellery to being an elegantly fashionable one, valued for providing striking contrasts. In Art Déco jewellery especially, black materials emphasized the clean, graphic lines that mark the era's best pieces. This ring, dating to the late 1920s, could barely be a more perfect picture book example of an Art Déco dinner ring. Relying on chic geometries and a sleek black-and-white contrast, the ring juxtaposes sparkling diamonds with glossy black onyx. An old European cut diamond of 2.40 ct is the focal point of the design. Its fine colour is emphasized by the black onyx surround, while a subtle platinum milgrain setting lets the gemstone appear even larger. A total of sixteen further diamonds within stepped settings typical of the era surround the polished onyx on four sides. Elegantly engraved ring shoulders lead over to the delicate ring bar, which completes the design. A wonderful example of Art Déco design and craftsmanship in excellent condition. We found the ring in Munich.

With the invention of gaslight and then electric light at the end of the 19th century, glistening brightness suddenly filled the ballrooms of Europe. No more dark, yellow candlelight, but the white glow of hundreds of lamps made the ladies' jewellery shine and glitter as never before. It is no wonder that a new fashion emerged as a result of these developments: white jewels made of diamonds and silver responded to the new lighting conditions and replaced the previous more colourful designs. In general, jewellery was increasingly richly set with sparkling gems to create an ever more luxurious and rich appearance. At the great balls in Paris, London and St. Petersburg, ever more magnificent diamond necklaces were presented, as well as tiaras, brooches and rings, all dreams in white diamonds. The name of the era, the Belle Époque, still indicates the goal of the period: To shine in beauty. But the fashion for white jewellery also remained current in the following decades, right up to the Art Déco of the 1920s. Only the materials of the settings changed. The rapidly tarnishing silver was first replaced by platinum settings and later by jewellery made entirely of platinum or white gold, which was developed shortly after the World War.

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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.