1848 Victorian Ring 15k Gold Tourmaline Seed Pearls

A charming antique Victorian 15k gold green tourmaline & natural seed pearls ring, hallmarked through the Birmingham assay office in 1848, and designed in the gothic revival style, with wonderful beaded crimp setting and decorative shoulders imitating the look of gothic tracery. The shank is original to the ring, and engraved with richly detailed scrollwork.

I just love how much tiny little details and touches are packed into this ring. The 1840s – 50s were really the last decades when jewelry made for the middle class British consumer market were still predominatly finished by hand. The beautiful engraving work, granulation / beading for the ring face, etc were all hand-created by a skiled craftsman, and would have been fairly time consuming. This type of intensely decoratively ring design would become more rare by the late 19th century, as machine production ensured that jewelry would become more affordable– but at the same time made hand-production rather obselete for mid-level jewelry, as rings with simple bands and plain gallery-set gemstone took hold.

Much of this ring was also deliberately made in a historical style, which would have evoked a sense of romance and sentimentalism in the wearer the way an antique ring might a modern owner today. The 1800-50s English Romantic movement changed tastes towards the imaginative, fanciful, and sentimental. In particular Victorians of the 1830s – on were immensely interested in the idealized historical past. The Scottish historical epics of Sir Walter Scott and other historic romances like Lorna Doone set the Victorian imagination aflame, as historical revival styles made their way into the material culture, via architectural styles, jewelry, and other decorative arts.

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Date: 1848

Materials: solid 15k gold, green tourmaline, natural saltwater pearls

Marks: four hallmarks-
“* A” sponsors’ or maker’s mark
“15 .625” for 15k gold
Anchor for Birmingham assay office
Letter ‘Z’ for the year 1848

Ring size: USA 6.5 / UK M 1/2 / EU 52 3/4

Weight: 1.6 grams

Dimension of ring face: 13.3 x 7.4 mm

Dimension of decorative shoulders: 6.3 x 5 mm

Width of shank: 2 mm

Thickness of shank: 0.8 mm

Condition: Fantastic antique condition, immediately wearable, and with all elements of the ring original