Victorian rings


Victorian rings

Contrary to rings of today, diamond rings in the early Victorian style were very similar in size, style, and gem stone. Although old mine-cut diamonds were used, other stone included demantoid green garnets, rubies, opals and sapphires.

Early Victorian jewelry, including diamond rings popularly had a single stone or a three stone which used tiny diamonds to accent the colored gem stone. The diamond rings used a rose cut or old mine cut diamond in very small sizes. The focal stone was often a colored gem stone with the diamonds simply used as accent for the large and less expensive center stone.

In large part, this styling was due to the scarcity of diamonds. Most people simply could not afford to purchase the more expensive diamonds in a large enough size to be an effective solitaire ring. Instead, cluster rings were popular, with rose cut diamonds, or old cut. The proportions of these older style diamonds made the most of the small size. Used in combination with the colored stones, they often were in settings which were very elaborate according to the fashion of the time.

A motif known as the buckle was popularized during this period, but the single most favorite diamond rings were those featuring either single or double snakes. This style was imitated by thousands of her subjects during her reign. The double snakes symbolized ancestral power, eternity and wisdom and recognized Victoria's single-minded love for Albert. The two snakes representing the bride and groom intertwine in a demonstration of communion and love. The serpentrings were often set with diamonds, sapphires or rubies.

After the 1870s when the diamond mines in South Africa were opened and diamond rings were more available and affordable, increasing numbers and styles were designed and distributed. Cobalt blue and black enamel were often used to highlight features of the diamond rings. Engagement rings following the opening of the mines often featured rows of diamonds with an extra facet on the bottom of the ring. This is characteristic of the 'mine cut'.

The new wealth afforded by the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution made rings more common to middle class buyers. One popular engagement ring design featured double hearts in the center outlined in pearls and bordered by a diamond framework. The whole design was crowned with a bow. Many diamond rings of the period, particularly those given as engagement rings included pearls.

References

Source [http://www.engagementrings.nu/victorian_rings.html Engagement Rings]


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