Modern Classic

Modernistic vintage ring with opal in yellow gold, around 1960

When, with the economic miracle, the lust for life also returned to German cities and parlors, when it made possible the first new prosperity in the centers of industry and commerce, the art of jewelry design also awoke to new life after many years of a dreamless sleep. The goldsmiths and jewellery designers of the late 1930s and 1940s had often vacillated indecisively between the forms of a strictly geometric Art Deco and repetitions of historical elements. Then, in the post-war period, they broke new ground and ventured into forms and designs that had not been seen before. From today's perspective, this ring may seem quite classic: an opal cabochon is set within a rectangular ring face with rounded corners, and a simple gold shank connects to it. But how new and unexpected this combination was in the pre-war era: it would have been unthinkable to set a precious gemstone like an opal entirely without framing diamonds! Leaving this framing function to yellow gold alone was an entirely new development, and only slowly did jewellery designers break free from the convention of accompanying coloured stones with diamond accents in white precious metal. Abstractly structured yellow gold took their place. The ring, with its milky opal iridescent with subtle pink and blue highlights, is very well preserved. Thanks to its clear, modernist design and material restraint, it can also be excellently combined with other pieces of jewellery.

A dreamlike stone, the opal, whose special brilliance was praised in the highest terms by the ancient author Pliny at the beginning of the Reckoning of Time: "it possesses a fire finer than that of carbuncle, it has the purple sparkle of amethyst and the sea-green of emerald and an altogether incredible mixture of light." This property of opal, to change with every movement and to produce the most varied reflexes of colour, has occupied men since ancient times. The ancient Greeks, for instance, "held those stones to be fragments from the shattered sun chariot of Phoebos; with them it gave its possessor the gift of the seer, frightened away melancholy, and brought lovers together." So wrote the German journal Der Bazar in 1886 in an article about myths associated with popular gemstones.

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.