Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gifts of Grandeur: The Diamond and Ruby Heart Ring, 1780

Ring, 1780
The Victoria & Albert Museum
In honor of St. Valentine’s Day, I selected this jewel which would have been presented as a token of love in 1780.  In this declaration of abiding affection, the passionate red of the ruby is matched by the steadfastness of the diamond. As was the practice in the Eighteenth Century (and, actually, well into the present time), the rubies are set in gold, while the diamonds are set in silver to enhance the whiteness of the stones.

The gold shoulders supporting the heart-shaped bezel mount of rubies and diamonds is engraved with a romantic foliate pattern.

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