buddies for life

Vintage gold snake ring with sapphires, around 1950

The yellow gold ring here consists of the bodies of two snakes in close coiling. The head of one animal bears a drop-cut sapphire in dark blue, while the other snake presents a strong orange sapphire in the same place. Eyes made of diamonds complete the unusual composition to a great whole. The motif of two snakes coiling around each other is an ancient symbol of friendship and solidarity. The ancient Egyptians were already familiar with this pictorial idea, and in Germany it experienced a renaissance during the Biedermeier period and later in Art Nouveau. In England, rings of this kind are still made today and called "promise rings", because they are often based on the promise to always be there for another person. Rings of this kind are often gifts of an everlasting friendship or were worn as a sign of an indissoluble love and attachment. Especially snake rings with different gemstones symbolize the characters of two different individuals who are nevertheless closely connected. The ring presented here, created in England in the years around 1950, inspires with its presence and elegance of form. The colour tone of the gemstones used is unusual and yet the ring can be worn every day.

The sapphire is a truly royal stone. Even more frequently than the ruby, it adorns the crowns of the monarchies of Europe: the English state crown sparkles in the light of 18 beautiful stones, and that of the Bohemian king Wenceslas has just as many. And yet it shares many properties with the ruby, because for the mineralogist both stones belong to the group of corundum. However, one should not forget that sapphires cannot only be blue. Because like the ruby the sapphire belongs to the group of the corundum. Since in mineralogy all corundums except the red ruby are called sapphires, yellow, green and orange sapphires are encountered in addition to the blue varieties. These stones, if they have an outstanding quality in color and freedom from inclusions, also fetch high prices in the trade. In popular belief, the sapphire is considered the stone of truth, fidelity, prudence and reason. Accordingly, the Doge of Venice wore such a mild, blue stone as a sign of his fidelity and marriage to the sea, set in gold. And Queen Elizabeth I of England also believed that her sapphire could protect her against slander and cunning.

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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.

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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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