I Have No Idea What Type of Ring This Is

by Robert McClister
(St. Petersburg, FL)

Date of platinum antique ring?

Date of platinum antique ring?

I gave this ring to my now fiancée as an engagement ring. It belonged to her grandmother and even then her grandfather had bought it at an antique dealer. I can find nothing about this style of ring anywhere. I had it checked and the metal is platinum and the diamonds and sapphire are real.

Any information would be helpful because I am very interested in the history of the ring more so than the value (although it doesn't hurt to know the value either). Also there are no identifying marks I can find anywhere.

Hi Robert,

Thank-you so much for sharing a pic of this truly stunning antique ring - it is just beautiful.

Regarding more info about the ring, the fact that the ring is made entirely with platinum can help us to estimate a starting date for the ring.

Platinum as a ring metal - and not just a metal used for the setting on a ring - did not really become available to the public until the early 1900s. Before that time, solid platinum pieces of jewelry were reserved for royalty and sometimes nobles only.

So, we can safely assume that the ring was not made before the 1900s.

Now for the style. The style of this ring is particularly intriguing because it displays an elegant combination of 3 main design periods of the early 1900s - Art Nouveau, Edwardian and Art Deco. It is really a mesh of these styles and the workmanship that went into the ring, from the pic, looks to be absolutely stellar.

The setting of the ring - the hexagonal setting with an inset circle - is highly representative of the Art Nouveau period which lasted from around 1890 to 1915. Many people mistakenly credit this hexagon and circle design to the Art Deco period, but this type of style is 100% classic Art Nouveau - in fact, it was the experiments with geometry in design during the Art Nouveau period which paved the way to the emerging edgy styles of the Art Deco era.

The gorgeous and intricate metal filigree on the sides of the bands is very Edwardian too. It was during the Edwardian years from about 1901 to 1910 when we first began to see these really amazing works of metal filigree art on rings. And the filigree on this ring - which incorporates natural themes and delicate almost lace-like effects is very Edwardian too.

The use of the diamonds encircling the sapphire, and the added play on combining contrasting shapes, is also quite indicative of the Art Deco period which is dated from 1915 to 1935.

And sapphire was an extremely popular gemstone in engagement and wedding rings from the mid to late 1800s and well into the 1950s.

It would be nice to know more specifically about the exact cuts of the sapphire and the diamonds encircling the sapphire.

Knowing the cuts could help to further key in on a date of the ring - but I would feel very comfortable dating the ring to the early 1900s regardless.

As the ring is quite representative of Art Nouveau and Edwardian designs, and the ring does show the right amount of soft wear you would see on antique platinum, plus even though there are some early Art Deco touches on the ring I do not think the ring was made at the height of the Art Deco period - but instead the styles of this piece are heavily weighted with Art Nouveau and Edwardian features with just a touch of Art Deco.

It is likely the ring was made in the early 1900s - possibly around 1900 to 1915 or even possibly up to the very early 1920s. I doubt if the ring was crafted any time after the mid-1920s.

The lack of hallmarks too in early 1900 antique rings is not unusual at all - especially if the ring was crafted in a European country, but it is possible too that the ring was made in the States.

Regarding value - that is difficult to say, but because the ring is made with platinum, showcases several design era styles from the early 1900s, was crafted with high standards of filigree work and looks to be in very good condition (though that is hard to say about the condition exactly without seeing the back of the ring and taking a closer look at the band), I would expect the ring to be valued at least in the $2,000 plus dollars range....of course it could be worth much more than $2,000 dollars, but it probably would not be valued under this amount.

The only way to get a true estimate of the value for the ring is to have the ring appraised for insurance purposes. A few jewelry stores perform this service in St. Petersburg, one that you might want to check out is McNeal Antiques - you could also check with the American Society of Appraisers for any possible recommendations on certified appraisers in your area.

Keep in mind that appraisal is not the same thing as an assessment on the ring's history. For that, you would need to have the ring researched by a jeweler that specializes not only in appraising antique rings but on authentication and historical assessments too.

A generic appraisal though is a good idea, because then you can have the ring insured. (Which is highly recommended for antique/vintage rings). An appraiser can also check to make sure the band is strong - with no cracks or stability issues - and that all of the stone settings are completely secure....which is all very important if your fiancee plans on wearing the ring a lot.

I hope this info helps, do feel free to write us if you have any additional questions - and we always love to hear an update about the rings our readers have questions about. If you have the ring appraised or examined further, send us an update with the info!


Suzanne Gardner
Everything Wedding Rings

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