Victoria's Secret

Superb antique gold ring with sapphires & diamonds, England circa 1890

Few ring types are as characteristic of the late Victorian era as the typical British "Five Stone Ring". This ring type presents the eponymous five gemstones in a magnificent row. The stones are set close together on the narrow band and provided with restrained settings, so that it seems as if they float on the finger. Five exceptional sapphires are the protagonists of the present ring, crafted in the last years of Victorian-era Britain. For the color of the sapphires is deep blue and beautiful. The gemstones are arranged so that a larger center stone is flanked by four almost imperceptibly smaller stones. The transverse ring head holds the gemstone set with claws of warm yellow gold, harmoniously rounding out the play of color. Small diamonds are set into the gussets between the sapphires, providing additional highlights. Rings like this one have been popular since the late 19th century and were created in a wide variety of material combinations. The choice of stones also followed symbolic considerations: Our ring speaks of fidelity and permanence, symbolized by the sapphires and the diamonds, because that is what these minerals mean in the language of gemstones. The ring, which we discovered in London, is beautifully preserved and a true testimony to its time, made of precious materials, which furthermore looks wonderful when worn. A detailed appraisal by the German Society for Gemstone Appraisal Idar-Oberstein has confirmed the quality of the materials.

Among all gemstones, the deep blue sapphire in particular has been attributed various mythical qualities over the centuries. In the Middle Ages, bishops wore this stone as a ring because they believed it warded off wiles and falsehood, and protected its wearer from feeling envy. In his Natural History of Gemstones, Della storia naturale della gemme, Naples 1730, Giacinto Gimma then wrote that the colour blue represented Venus and the study of the heavenly bodies and stars, and was most purely represented in sapphire. Possibly from these associations developed in the 19th century the meaning that the sapphire held in the so-called gemlore, the language of precious stones. In this language it was associated with truth and loving loyalty. For example, the painter Sir Edward Burne Jones, who also designed jewellery, wrote to his close friend Frances Graham: "Sapphire is truth, and I am never without it [...] Sapphires I make my totem of!"

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.


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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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