Antique Purple Spinel and Diamond Cluster Ring in 18k Gold, Victorian

On my days off in London, which are sadly few and far between, I do one of two things, if it’s a weekend, I make my way over to Liberty and wander the floors, have high in their wonderful tea room. If it’s a weekday, I make my way to the Tower of London to visit my dear friends, the Royal Crown Jewels. My favorite amongst them is the Imperial State Crown; the crown has existed in various forms since the 15th century, but the current version was made in 1937 and in addition to holding the 317 carat Cullinan II diamond, it also proudly showcases the Black Prince’s Ruby. The ‘ruby’ is not a ruby at all, but actually a red spinel. On one visit I took to chatting with the Beefeater in residence in the jewel room that day and he told me that the reason there is a ruby set into the polished, but uncut, spinel, is to hide a hole. This hole was drilled by Henry V so that he could wear the jewel during the battle of Agincourt for luck. It must have worked because Henry’s army, though vastly outnumbered, beat back the French to end the Hundred Years War. The jewel, however, was lost during the battle, and so Henry sent his troops back to the battlefield to search for it. It took them three weeks of looking and they eventually found it underneath of a deceased French soldier.

This spinel is a bird of a different color. Well, honestly, of several different colors. If you’re inside it appears to be pink kissed with violet, but outside in the sunshine it’s much more of a purple tinged with blue. The stone is a rounded oval faceted cut which measures 8.4x7.8x5.7 mm and weighs approximately 2.9 carats. The spinel is surrounded by 14 Old European cut diamonds that weigh approximately .08 carats each for a total of just over one carat in stones. They are beautiful diamonds, white and sparkling. The stones are set into a lovely hand crafted 18 karat gold mounting, it’s marked ’18ct’, but we’ve also acid tested it to make sure. It measures 18.9 mm north to south and 13 mm across and narrows to 2 mm at the back of the band. The ring is a size 8.25 but could be re-sized to suit. I’m not sure where this one was made, I purchased it in London, I would date it to circa 1890.

This fabulous cluster ring would make an unusual and truly stunning engagement ring!


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Item ID:RG1115905V



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