Monday, April 6, 2009


WOW, I just found out that if you click on the image it enlarges! Way cool this will give you a better look.

Well yet again here are today's treasures form the same antique/junk shop. The stick pin is 14kt with an amethyst and the ring is also 14kt with great open work, mill graining and carved designs all the way around even the shank. It also has some great enamel work too. The ring dates from the 1800's probably around 1890's or so. The image does not do the ring justice since the stone is blood red and marvelous. I have to break out the refractometer to see what I have. But I would say without a doubt it is a ruby, the question is Synthetic or natural. They started making synthetic rubies and sapphires in the 1800's. By the way the stone is about 6 carats or so by measurement. It measures about 13mm long and 10mm wide and 6mm deep. The gold value minus the weight of the stone is about $70 dollars, I paid $12.00. The actual value of the entire ring is much more. The stick pin has about $45 dollars in gold content and I paid $12.00, but again it is a 1920's era piece and worth much more than that.

I guess I had better explain some of the terms here. First a REFRACTOMETER is a device that with light refraction and a special liquid determines the refractive index of a given gemstone. It gives a numerical readout that corresponds to certain gems determined by how much light it refracts. The readout is in a given range and that determines the type of gem.

Mill Graining is a type of very tiny bead like decorations usually on the edge of a ring. Think of them looking like little drops of gold in a line all along the edge of a ring. On this ring they are around the bezel(hold the stone in place). The open work is similar to that you might find on a very ornate wrought iron fence with patterns throughout or a stainglass window without the glass and on a very tiny scale. The pattern is flowers and leaves surrounded by tiny little holes for lack of a better word that make the designs appear to float on the ring.

Along the shank of the ring(part that wraps around your finger) there is intricate carving of flowers and leaves intertwined, same as the open work but carved. Very delicate and beautiful carving.

This is old world work and today would be a custom job since much of this type of work is no longer done. To have a ring duplicated WITHOUT THE STONE would run in the THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. The main reason is that none of this ring was Cast it was intricately made by hand. All the open work was done with an extremely tiny saw to get the desired pattern and finished product. I counted 124 individual cuts in the metal to obtain the desired effect. Some of the cuts are less than 1/2mm in diameter. Imagine the person who did this toiling for weeks to complete this ring. Nothing like that today exists. This type of craftsmanship today is PRICELESS!
The value of the stone if it is synthetic is about $200.00 to $300.00, if natural, PRICELESS! I am betting on the synthetic!
I added anothe rimage to show the almost true color of the stone and the open work is a little visible.
Well thanks for letting me show and tell as it were.

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