This ring was crafted during a time when pearls were accessible only to the wealthy, due to rarity and price. Finding pearls that matched in size, shape, and color could take years, as the farming of pearls wasn’t developed until the 1920s. Pearls had to be found the old-fashioned way, by diving into the sea and searching through thousands of mollusks by hand. Crafting a necklace or ring with similar pearls would take years. These natural gemstones were reserved for royalty and the upper class. This ring was made in 1884, and most likely belonged to a well-to-do Victorian woman, with a great sense of style.
This antique Victorian pearl and ruby gold ring was handcrafted in Chester, England in 1884. It features a motif of six creamy white pearls in two rows with a ruby on each of the shoulders, all set in 15 karat gold. Each of the round en cabochon pearls measure approximately 2.2 mm in diameter. Each of the two dark pink rubies measure 2.5 x 2.5 x 1.5 mm and weigh a total of .14 carats. The ring face measures 7.7 x 16 x 2.3 mm off the finger and the band width is 3.3 mm at the back. This lovely little ring has been fully hallmarked. It bears the wheat sheaves mark for Chester, the gold purity marks, “15” and “.625”, the date letter, “A”, and a maker’s mark which reads, “R N”. This ring is a size 8.75 and it weighs 4.1 grams.
History says that Cleopatra would dissolve pearls into vinegar and then drink the cocktail. In japan, pearl hunters have been diving without breathing equipment for around 2,000 years.
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