Art Deco Revival

Unusual platinum ring with single carat and baguette diamonds, dated 1993

The design of the Art Deco years is still timelessly beautiful today and many pieces are among the classics of European design culture. There is hardly a living room without the famous Wagenfeld lamp or cantilever chairs by Mart Stam - and an Art Déco engagement ring is also considered the non-plus-ultra by many of our customers. Indeed, the art of goldsmithing in the 1920s achieved a perfection of craftsmanship that has never been equalled again, while the designs unfolded a simple clarity that still seems modern today. It is therefore not surprising that in the decades that followed, goldsmiths again and again took their cue from Art Deco ideas - as in the case of the present ring, which according to the hallmarking in the ring rail was created in 1993 and which we would certainly have classified earlier without this precise dating. The ring, made in Birmingham, England, is forged of solid platinum and sets gemstones in various old cuts, apparently in secondary use. In the centre we find a large brilliant-cut diamond weighing more than a carat and of beautiful white colour (1.09 ct, top Wesselton (G), pi). The stone, probably cut as early as the interwar period, shows a small inclusion at the edge of the table, visible even to the naked eye. However, since it is so concentrated in one spot, it does not diminish the brilliance of the stone but makes it a recognizable unique specimen. To the right and left of the central diamond, a small casket-set diamond mediates to each of two baguette-cut diamonds. Three small round diamonds form the end points of the ring shoulders. The sides of the ring are also worthy of attention, as they show an almost architectural elegance, just like the design of the front. The ring, which came to us in the south of England, is very well preserved. We have had an external certificate made for the large centre stone, which confirms the characteristics of the old brilliant.

The shape of the diamond has evolved over many centuries. For a long time it was technically impossible to change the raw crystal more than rudimentary, because the diamond is so extraordinarily hard. In the 17th and 18th century it was then possible to extract more and more facets from the crystal and in the course of the 19th century the cuts came closer and closer to the shape we know today as a brilliant. It was not until 1919, however, that Marcel Tolkowsky calculated the ideal shape of the brilliant on an optical-physical basis; the exact shape, which is the standard in Germany today, the so-called fine cut of the practice, was not even determined until 1938. The shape of the modern brilliant-cut diamond really became established after the war. The brilliant is therefore actually a fairly recent invention - and this also means that with a diamond cut in the 19th century or at the beginning of the 20th century, a so-called "old cut", the proportions of the stone do not follow the standard of today's brilliant. Old cuts were always cut individually in those days: One wanted to find the optimal way between the best brilliance on the one hand and the least loss of material during cutting on the other. We find that it is precisely this individuality that makes old diamonds so particularly interesting. They are less easy to compare, and their value cannot simply be determined by means of a table: Because you have to look at each stone individually to really be able to say whether it has the fire and brilliance that you expect from a diamond.

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.


OUR PROMISE

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.

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