Is my Grand Mum's ring really as old as she was told?

by Anne
(Stoughton WI)

Recently my Grand Mum gave me a ring I've loved since I was small. She bought it in England about 50 years ago and was told then that it was 200 years old or so. There are 3 tiny pearls lined in the middle, with 2 small rubies on either side. There is a small pearl on the outsides of both the rubies. Around the jewels are "dots" or what look like pin pricks in the gold.

Inside there are 3 stamps. The first is: 15 The second is: .625 The third is: N

I would like to know if the ring is really old or just a fake. The pictures are not too great, but it's the best I could do.

Hi Anne,

Well, from the info you provided it looks like the ring your Grand Mum gave you is definitely an antique ring – although it is difficult to pinpoint the exact age of the ring.

Both of the 15 and .625 stamps refer to the type of gold the ring is made of: 15ct gold – which is 62.5% gold. The stamps are British stamps, and this type of gold was discontinued in the mid-1930s. The N stamp could indicate the ring design, company or designer….a British hallmark logo book could possibly yield more clues on that mark. The dots around the jewels could be design features or empty settings where additional pearls or rubies were lost.

15ct gold was used very rarely in the late Georgian era but was used much more frequently during the Victorian Age (1837 – 1901) the Edwardian era (1901 – 1910) and the early Art Deco age (1915 – 1935).

I don’t think the ring is quite as old as your Grand Mum was told. If she bought the ring about 50 years ago that would have been in the 1960s, and 200 years before that is around the 1760s, which would put the ring from the Georgian era. Looking at the condition and style of the ring, plus the materials which were used to create the ring – yellow 15ct gold, rubies and pearls – I would tentatively place the ring dated around the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The condition and style are not really indicative of the Victorian Age or the Edwardian era, and while pearls and rubies were popular during the Victorian Age, the geometric position of the ring and settings leads me to believe it could be an early Art Deco ring or a very late Victorian Age ring. Although Art Deco rings are more commonly characterized by the use of platinum and diamonds – pearls, rubies and 15ct gold were also used particularly in early designs.

While the ring is probably not as old as you had thought, it is still a beautiful antique ring and would definitely be a wonderful family heirloom.

I hope this information helps, and if you have any additional questions do contact us again!

Suzanne Gardner
Everything Wedding Rings

Comments for Is my Grand Mum's ring really as old as she was told?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

15ct gold
by: Anonymous

15CT GOLD was not permitted for hallmarking purposes in England until 1854 so certainly not as early as Georgian. It's style and setting date as stated to the latter Victorian / early Edwardian period.

Found ring under four Inches of ground
by: mary

About 10 years ago digging in my fount yard found a ring bent up and full of mud rinsed it off threw it in jewelry box and forgot about it 2 nights ago took it out rinsed it and there are 3 numbers 625 it is in silver color it has a big light pink diamond looking stone and a bunch of light brown stones the setting is very old please help me.

Hi Mary - Could you please send us your location, and any pics of the ring. That would really help us to begin researching more about your ring!
- Suzanne, Everything Wedding Rings

The "N" in the markings
by: Jeweler's Granddaughter

I have seen numerous pieces of gold jewelry of Great Britain origin using a letter of the alphabet in a specific font style, case (upper or lower), and within a specific type of cartouche or background shape, to indicate the year either of production or assay marking.

Is it possible the "N" this writer is indicating could be of that particular usage? The charts I have seen show usage of this particular marking going back a couple hundred years, at least.

I didn't see it mentioned, but there are numerous references available online that give charts showing these details, and the specific year to which they refer. It's important of course to be very specific of all these details, as the same letter is of course used every 26 years on a rotation basis.

Thought this might be helpful, if not here, then perhaps to someone else instituting a similar search.

Best Regards,
Shari D.

625 15k ring
by: Janek

I have ring with hallmark 625 but there is letter
Before, I believe "W" and after there is like
Arrow with + and after that there is another letter, but I can't read it. I wish I could upload
Picture, it's got amethyst, purple one, looks like it's worn. Any chance to trace how old it is?
Many thanks for help

Kind regards

Click here to add your own comments

Click here to return to Antique Wedding Rings.