Friday, February 20, 2015

Every Jewel Has a Story - Platinum Halo Ring

You know, everyone has a starting place.  Or a starting piece.  And, the history behind not only that piece but all of them is always what has fascinated me.  So, I have decided to open up my collection and tell the story of one particular piece of jewelry.  It's history.  How it came to me.  It's stats and what drew me to it.  But where to begin?  At the start of course!


Maybe I was a bird in a previous life & just can't seem to stay away from all things sparkly, shiny or otherwise bright!
Platinum & Old Mine Cut Diamond Bird Earrings offered by 
Acanthus Antiques, $5,500.

I've been collecting shiny objects ever since I can remember from rocks I found outside (many of which I still have...) as a child to jewelry.  Perhaps I was a bird in another life.  It would explain my fascination with all thing sparkly!

But one of my favorite pieces - and one of my first, fine antique pieces - was a platinum and diamond halo ring from the 1930s that I purchased from Dover Jewelry on one of the 'no reserve' .99 cent auctions in their eBay store.  


Isn't the hand carved filigree on this ring amazing?!  I love how the swirls are just perfect in their imperfection.  It's
those imperfections & the hand done craftsmanship that drew me to this ring.  Not to mention, I have a fascination
with all things Art Deco.

Platinum has always been one of my favorite metals.  The lovely gunmetal colored patina that it has just sends me!  And this piece had such detail work that screamed quality craftsmanship.  Platinum was a common metal used in fine jewelry before World War II when the U.S. government declared it a 'strategic metal' and halted it's use in non-military related endeavors.


The simplicity of the band mixed with filigree work & the halo detailing makes this ring very typical of the Art
Deco period.  Although it has no maker's mark, everything about this ring points to the Art Deco period, circa 1930s.

The ring's center stone was a lovely ruby. But the stone had a significant area that was lead glass filled.  Although it was a common practice that made previously unusable stones, usable in order to meet the demand for vibrant colored stones.  It also decreases the stone's value.  


I also love the low profile of this ring.  The center stone sits low in the halo which both protects it & makes it
easy to wear without getting caught on clothing & such.

In this particular setting, the stone was small - approximately .25 carats so it was quite feasible to replace it without much cost.  But I had no idea what to replace it with.  I love warm colors so I knew that I wanted something in a warm tone to contrast the gunmetal color of the platinum.  Plus, one of the details that drew me to the ring were the little acanthus leaves on either side of the main stone.  So a stone with a warm, neutral tone seemed appropriate.  


What I have always loved about this ring is how it has an earthy look with the acanthus leaves on each side
of the stone & the gentle milgrain edging.    The detailing in this ring is stunning - from both above & below.

In the end, I decided on a fancy colored diamond.  I worked with Tom Tivol at Tom Tivol Jewels to find the perfect diamond.  Tom worked with me to find a cognac colored diamond with a warm, reddish colored undertone to it.  Plus, Tom's expertise in antique jewelry made him the perfect choice for resetting the stone.  He brought in several cognac colored stones of the appropriate size for me to choose from.  It didn't take me long to find the stone with the warmest, red undertone.  Tom reset the ring with the stone and cleaned the surrounding pave diamond halo.  The end result was amazing!  And it is still one of my favorite pieces!


The camera couldn't caption the full beauty of this ring or the details.  I love the detail work in the the leaves.


Although the ruby was lovely, the cognac diamond has definitely added to the value of the ring &, in my
opinion, made it even more unique.  It's also made it more versatile in my own wardrobe which tends to
center around neutrals with pops of color.  Maybe now I should search for a collection of curved platinum
wedding bands to stack with it...Could you imagine?!?!


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