We were off Madagascar...

Stunning gentleman's ring with untreated sapphire and diamonds, around 1850

Nowadays, the jewellery market is predominantly tailored towards women; precious jewels for gentlemen are harder to find than ever. In previous centuries, however, it was entirely common for gentlemen to adorn their hands with gemstones. A suite of fine jewellery, consisting predominantly of rings and stickpins, was to be found in every well-dressed gent’s wardrobe. In the early years of Queen Victoria's reign, this ring was part of one such collection. The gold ring, dating to the years around 1850, is a beautiful example of this part of fashion and art history. A natural, untreated (no heat) sapphire of 2,95 ct weight is set in yellow gold, the rich tone of which further intensifies the vivid blue of the stone. It is an intense blue, almost hypnotisingly so, in a shade that can be characterised as a cornflower hue. Large natural and untreated gemstones such as this one are very lucky finds in the world of antique jewellery. They guarantee a stable value, seeing as they have become increasingly scarce on a market on which most stones have undergone some kind of treatment, mostly heat. In order to guarantee the value of this sapphire, we had it examined twice at gemmological laboratories: not merely for proof of its unheated state, but also to determine its origin. Surprisingly, Madagascar was found to be the origin of this intensely blue sapphire – a rare occurence, since these mines only became more popular towards the end of the 20th century. Especially the area around the town Ilakaka, also known as the „city of sapphires”, is known to produce such gemstones in rare colours and of very good clarities. Earlier sapphires mined on this island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, however, are scarce – making this piece ever more precious. The setting of the sapphire mirrors its quality and value. It is set amidst 59 diamonds in historical cuts, surrounding the blue stone like a halo. The ring of yellow gold is hand-forged and massive, making it a real statement piece. While it would have adorned a nobleman’s or wealthy merchant’s hand back in the day, such rigid rules have lifted nowadays, and the piece would make a beautiful addition to a gentleman’s or lady’s fine jewellery collection.

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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.

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.


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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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