The Georgian period spans 1714 to 1837. Fine examples from this time are extremely rare as only the highest members of society could afford such an extravagance as jewellery.
Rings from this period would be crafted in gold with diamonds set in silver to enhance the whiteness. Table and rose cut diamonds which were cut for the low light of candles would glitter and sparkle at the dinner parties of the aristocracy.
Several styles of ring were popular throughout this period. The cluster ring was a favourite with diamonds densely packed in silver settings. Carved shoulders and shanks added to the elaborate nature of the design.
“Keeper” rings would be used to prevent a larger gemstone set ring from slipping from the finger. Fashioned from gold or set with gemstones, these bands are an early example of the now well known eternity band.
The “giardinetti” ring, Italian for ‘little garden’ would be a bouquet of flowers crafted in a rainbow of gemstones. These rings were exchanged as love tokens between couples or the closest of friends.
The heart is a favoured motif with twin hearts regularly depicted using a gemstone for each half of the heart. Closed backed settings would be used, often with foil backing to further enhance the colour of the natural gemstones.
Memorial rings from this period became increasingly ornate with elaborate enamel work depicting weeping women, burial urns and broken columns. Complicated plaited hair work can be seen set beneath a clear crystal dome. These elegant motifs would often have seed pearls surrounding the central design as these signified the tears of the mourner.
A Georgian ring would be a magnificent love token. These rare beautiful rings are not only a delight to wear and enjoy but they are a piece of history for you to add to your jewellery box.
Georgian garnet and diamond mourning ring, English, circa 1760.
Georgian garnet and diamond mourning ring. Set with a cushion shape old cut natural unenhanced garnet in a closed back cutdown setting with an approximate weight of 0.50 carats, further set with two cushion shape old mine diamonds in closed back cutdown settings with a combined approximate weight of 0.14 carats, to an openwork design with a gadrooned convex back and flanked by curlicues to the split shoulders, leading through to a shank composed of scrolling panels with black enamel ground and inscribed 'MARY/ IDE.OB:/9.MAR./AET:68'. Tested yellow gold and silver, English, circa 1760.