Stamp on Vintage Engagement Ring
by Trish L.
Two years ago my husband said I could get an anniversary ring…..and I found the most BEAUTIFUL ring at a thrift store of all places (they found it wrapped in tissue in a suitcase at the bottom of their donation dumpster - they gave it to the police dept bc it was clearly an accident but after 6 months the police dept gave it back to them).
I took it to a jeweler just to make sure it was real - it was $1800, and he said it was and that I was getting a deal of a lifetime, but he also charges $200 for an appraisal...it took my husband the 5 years to save up that money...I can't really afford that and he wouldn't tell me a limit on hours!
There is a maker’s mark inside the ring...for the last 2 years I have been trying to identify it. I email EVERYONE (whom it could possibly be) and I have never heard back from anyone.
Can you please help me? If not it’s okay...I just want to know, have you ever heard of the mark "JD" inside of a diamond? There are also the initials D and M flanking the diamond...but I always assumed that was the original owner’s initials (maybe I shouldn't be assuming that though!). It’s clearly a custom made ring. I have never seen a ring with an underside shank like that...
I truly love this ring. I really have no interest in getting it appraised for insurance purposes or anything along those lines, because it is NEVER LEAVING MY FINGER! Except for when I took these pix of course :) ! But, there is apparently some history to this ring and I would like to learn it if I could! Thank you,
Wow – that is really a stunning ring, congratulations on the find!
Regarding discovering out more about the ring, here are few clues about the ring which possibly reveal a bit about its history.
Starting with the style of the ring – the style looks very much like the Retro sunburst style which was very popular for cocktail rings throughout the 1950s. This style, which often featured a prominent use of baguette diamonds, lasted all the way through the 1970s – so to place a tentative date on the ring’s creation I would say it may have been crafted any time between the 1950s and 1970s.
The 14k stamp on the ring too suggests that the ring was made in the United States. If the ring had been crafted in Europe, the stamp would have most likely been 14ct and been accompanied by an assay hallmark office stamp.
And concerning the other stamp on the ring, the JD inside of the diamond shape is definitely a maker’s mark. The D and M on either side could be the initials of the owner of the ring or the initials of a couple – but they seem to be placed awfully close to the maker’s mark. I’m wondering if perhaps the D and M is part of the maker’s mark – or if perhaps the JD and diamond mark was the mark of a particular company or small handcraft jewelry boutique and DM worked there…and crafted this particular ring? These are all possibilities.
How to find out who exactly JD is?
This is where things can get complicated. The problem is that there is no one place where people can go to look up maker’s marks on jewelry pieces. No national database or registrar for maker’s marks exist – and to complicate matters jewelers are not legally required to register their mark anywhere either.
However, because this mark is so unique – and has the initials inside a specific shape – I think you may have a little bit more luck on finding out who JD is because I have a feeling that this mark has been registered. But it may take time to find out this information.
Your best bet is to start with the United States Patent and Trademark Office
. There are literally hundreds of thousands of trademarks registered here, but you can use the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to hunt through the trademarks. To really get a good search and refine the possibilities down to (hopefully) a few hundred, watch the instructional video on how to use the TESS search database.
Because there is a question about whether the DM is included in the maker’s mark, it might be best to start your search with JD inside the diamond – and if you do not find anything then include the DM on either side to see if something comes up.
Again, this is going to take time – but in the end you may be able to find JD through the U.S. Trademark Office.
Alternatively you could pay a jeweler to investigate this information for you, but this alternative can cost upwards of a few hundred dollars or more depending on how long it takes to find the origin of the maker’s mark – and in the end the person you pay to find the mark may not be able to find it (but will still need to be paid for the research hours).
You can also show the ring to different jewelers here and there as opportunities crop up – you never know, someone may know who this mark belongs to. There are also books which contain lists of maker's marks for antique and vintage items which you may be able to find at your local library.
I wish I could offer more specific information, and I did perform a few searches to try to narrow down the JD mark, but I started to go down a research rabbit hole!
One last thing. An appraiser will not be able to offer the information about the maker’s mark either – unless paid to do the extra research. The appraisal will just include information on the ring’s metal content, diamond carat weight, cut, color and clarity info, a description of the ring and the estimated value of the ring. It is expensive to have a ring appraised – but it is a good idea for insurance purposes. If you do decide to have the ring appraised, try to stick with an appraiser who has been certified through the American Gem Society
. You can find an AGS appraiser in your location through the AGS website.
I hope this information helps some, and do write back if you ever find anything more about it – we’d love to hear an update. And thanks for sharing pics of your gorgeous ring!!!!
Suzanne GardnerEverything Wedding Rings