There is no doubt that one of the items of jewellery I notice most during meetings is the ring and there are some beautiful ones being worn. Some are clearly rings worn every day while some are special rings, worn occasionally.
Rings that can fall into the first category are intaglio rings. What is an intaglio? An intaglio is a design incised or engraved into some sort of material. It comes from the Italian intagliare, to cut into. In the case of rings, the material might be a transparent gemstone like a garnet or emerald or a translucent or opaque gemstones like agate or carnelian. Usually they are designed as signet rings, originally used to seal a document but later in history they were used to display coats of arms or just initials. They were generally worn by men but now women wear them as well.
The one I have selected for today is a little antique ring featuring a carved bird with a sprig of leaves in its beak standing on a branch. The intaglio is set in an oval setting with four claws and a rope twist border. The shoulders are embellished, leading to a thin grooved band. The intaglio is carved into sardonyx, a member of the quartz family. The gem has parallel bands of reddish brown or dark orange and white. The ring is a size M (61/2).
The next ring is one to be noticed. It is a scintillating natural blue zircon and diamond ring set in 18ct white and yellow gold. It is centrally set with a round brilliant cut zircon, and three single cut diamonds to each shoulder. Natural zircons are highly refractive and because of this it is hard to get a clear photo. The ring size is 7.75 (O-P).
The ring shown above is so pretty. It is a Victorian pearl and ruby cluster ring set in 15ct gold. The ring has three cushion cut rubies. The centre one is 3.2 x 2.8mm while the two on either side are each 3.0 x 2.0mm. The six natural half pearls surrounding the central ruby are a soft light cream color and are each 3.3mm in diameter. It dates to around the mid-19th century. The ring weighs 2.73 grams and is a size 5.5 (K). The plain band is 1.6mm wide.
This ring is a classic Victorian half hoop five stone opal ring in 18ct yellow gold. The ring has five claw set oval cabochon crystal opals of graduated size, each displaying delicate play of colour. There are also ten tiny mine cut diamonds between the opals. The band is plain. It weighs 4.65 grams. It is sized 7 (N).
This is a lovely vintage three stone orange citrine ring with 4 rose cut diamonds in an ornate bridge setting. It is modelled on Victorian era style of ring. The ring is stamped 9ct. It is a size 6 (L).
This is a show stopper of a ring. It is large and consists of an onyx cameo of a Greek lady, with a cultured pearl and gold dot border. The top of the ring is 3cms long so it makes a big statement. Not an everyday type of ring but a really special one. Probably made around the early 1900s. The gold is 18ct. It is a ring size Q.