Throughout history, men have worn rings for a wide variety of reasons, from declaring their status, wealth or rank, to displaying their family crest, seal or initials. Traditionally we associate gentlemen’s rings as a form of signet or wedding ring. Today, gem-set rings are as popular as ever, adding a little sparkle or colour to the finger.
At Berganza we have gent’s gemstone rings dating from as far back as Ancient Rome through to Medieval, Victorian, Art Deco and colourful vintage pieces. Extraordinary Ancient Roman gemstone ring examples include the Roman ‘SPQR’ glass cameo (20210), the Roman eagle intaglio ring (19296), and the Jasper signet ring of Mercury (15827) 1st to 2nd century AD, to name just a few. Ancient rings are set with stones of many colours from reds and oranges through to blues and greens. Gold Medieval gemstone examples include an extremely rare zoomorphic sapphire ring (19973), dating from the 12th – 14th century, and a Medieval cabochon garnet ring with ornate workmanship (19966). These ancient and early gem-set rings can be worn with care on a daily basis, and are an impressive piece of wearable history.
Other yellow gold pieces include heavy Victorian gemstone rings. We have examples set with diamond, such as the decorative gothic revival solitaire attributed to Wiese (19845), a Russian rose cut diamond solitaire (19798) and a dazzling diamond cluster ring (18310). Sapphires were a popular choice due to their appealing colour, an example of which can be seen in the sapphire and diamond three stone ring by Black Starr & Frost (19374). Sapphires, along with rubies, continued to be popular throughout the 20th century, and appear in yellow gold in the 1940’s and 1970’s. For forties examples see the Cartier solitaire sapphire ring (19863) and the impressive ruby and diamond cluster (19774). Vintage 1970’s sapphires include the exquisite Carvin French Burmese sapphire ring (19456) and the bold solitaire sapphire in 18 carat yellow gold (19137).
Rose gold gentlemen’s rings proved popular in the Victorian period, where different alloys, namely copper, would be added to gold to create the warm rosy colour. Solitaire gemstones are ideal for daily wear, see the impressive old mine diamond solitaire (18855), a more ornate example (18652) and the diamond set snake ring in rose gold (18111) all dating to the Victorian period.
The Art Deco period saw rings made in white metals, including white gold and platinum, and this whiter look was also displayed in 1950’s pieces. The solitaire diamond would be set into bolder mounts, see the French solitaire cushion (15604), also into squarer shapes (17459), and heavy, chunky designs, see (18943). Contrasting colours, namely blue sapphires against bright white metals and diamonds proved popular. The Bailey, Banks & Biddle piece is a striking example of Art Deco workmanship set with a cabochon sapphire (18042), as is the sapphire and diamond three stone (18086) and the solitaire sapphire cabochon by S. Kind & Sons.
These are just a few examples of an array of antique and vintage gentlemen’s gemstone rings that we have available at Berganza, with our complete stock visible on our website and in our showroom. Whether you are looking for a ring for a special occasion or you are tempted by something for every day, a gemstone ring can make a particularly memorable gift.