A Song of Fire and Ice

Seductive gold ring with diamond & rubies, around 1900

Fire and ice, warmth and cold, desire and renunciation - so many moments in life only achieve their charm through the contrast with their counterpart. This ring from the penultimate turn of the century also achieves its special fascination from such a tension, which arises from its selected precious materials. The ring is forged from high-carat, slightly reddish gold and presents a dreamlike set of gemstones on its front. Set in an impressive row, six fiery red rubies compete with a white old European cut diamond. The gemstones have always been charged with meaning: The ruby, due to its colorfulness, was already associated with love in classical antiquity and assigned to the goddess Venus, who guides the fates of lovers. The diamond, on the other hand, symbolizes duration and permanence. So it's no surprise that rubies and diamonds have often been incorporated into gifts of love; just think of Liz Taylor's famous ruby parure that Mike Todd gave her! But it's not just the contrasting arrangement of gemstones that makes the ring unusual and beautiful. The clear design language and its fine workmanship also make it special. The workmanship and choice of materials of the first-class preserved ring allow us to date it to the years around 1900 and thus to the Belle Époque.

The ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum. Corundum can be found in almost all colors of the rainbow, even completely colorless stones are among them. But while all these stones can also be addressed as sapphires, only the magnificently red stones of this mineral genus are rubies. Among the coloured stones, the ruby is by far the most valuable stone; only particularly high-quality pink, blue or green diamonds fetch higher prices today. Throughout history, the best rubies have always been mined in Burma, around the city of Mogok. They are characterized by an intense pink-red color, also known as "pigeon's blood". The best stones seem to glow as if from an inner fire, which is best visible in daylight: stones that still shine fantastically red in artificial light can appear washed out under the sun. According to tradition, rubies are divine, princely stones. Since their color is reminiscent of blood and blazing fire, their connection to burning love was quite natural. Supposedly they even prevent diseases and give proud, fresh courage. Indian princes therefore even had themselves addressed as "King of Rubies". In contrast to historical rubies, stones mined in recent decades are almost always heat-treated to improve their color, which does not help the price of the stones.

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.