A rare jewel

Large antique ring with peridot & diamonds in rose gold, around 1900

Few stones were once as rare as peridot, a clear and brilliant gemstone distinguished by its spring-green color. Yet it was mined in ancient times by order of the pharaohs on Egypt's St. John's Island in the Red Sea: Dreadful guards were said to have killed anyone who dared come near it, wrote the Greek historian Diodorus. Then, however, this source fell into oblivion. Thus, it was probably the peridots mined in antiquity that came to Europe in the Middle Ages through crusades and were set in the jewelry of the clergy, because for centuries the source of the peridot was unknown and the stone was therefore correspondingly rare. For a long time, peridots had to be cut out of old jewelry in order to use them anew. It was not until the late 19th century that the mines on the legendary St. John's Island were rediscovered. However, as gemologist George Kunz wrote in 1916, even then another source of peridots was known that seems even more mysterious than the fabled island: meteorites. In the mountains of New Mexico one found in 1884 Pallasites, stone-iron meteorites, which consist of Olivine - that mineral group, of which the Peridot is a particularly pure representative. It is therefore not surprising that as a result of the rich peridot finds of the late 19th century, numerous pieces of jewelry were suddenly created, which after centuries of scarcity celebrated the sudden exuberance of this beautiful gemstone. A particularly large peridot is at the center of this ring. It weighs about 5.10 ct and is held in place by fine red gold pronges. A entourage of twelve old mine cut diamonds surrounds the gemstone and highlights its color. The diamonds are set in platinum, which, like the design, tells us that the ring was created around 1900. A rose gold rail with diamond-set platinum accent and curved ring shoulders holds the magnificent ring head. Stylistically, the tripartite ring rail is inspired by 18th century rings - a fashionable reference at the time. The rich use of platinum here is a beautiful, if probably unintended, citation, as Louis XVI had once declared the rare and precious platinum the metal of kings. We were able to discover the magnificent ring in Vienna. It is very well preserved and comes with an independent appraisal.

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.