1884 Antique 18k Victorian Ring with Diamond, Ruby, & Pearls

An 1884 date inscribed 18k gold antique Victorian diamond ruby & pearl betrothal ring, of half-hoop design with natural pearls, rubies, and diamonds in square enameled settings, while the shoulders are engraved and enameled with decorative scrolls. The inside of the shank is inscribed as follows–

“From C.M.C to M.D. 22nd Sept. 1884”.

The ring also bears five British hallmarks, signifying that it’s made of solid 18k gold, assayed through the Birmingham office, and made in 1870. Why 14 years passed between the production and inscription date is a mystery. The ring was either stored in a jeweler’s inventory during this time, or it’d been purchased by a gentleman (or his mother?) with the intention of saving it to give as an eventual betrothal ring.

The design type of this ring—half hoop, with gemstones in square settings—was very popular during the last quarter of the 19th century. However, this ring is one of the most exceptional of its type that I’ve seen. The enameled details and fine little rubies and diamonds give the ring a great deal of finesse.

It’s almost certain that this ring was given as a betrothal / engagement ring or love token from a gentleman to a lady. One must remember that the “conventional” diamond solitaire engagement ring did not make its debut until the 1890s. Prior to then, Victorians favored serpent and half-hoop gemstone rings as betrothal rings, and pearls– prized for their connotations of purity — were especially preferred

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Description

Date: 1884 (inscription) / 1870 (assay date), High Victorian Era

Materials: solid 18K gold, Ruby, Diamond, natural pearls

Marks: a ‘Crown’ for gold, ’18’ for 18K, Anvil for Birmingham office, letter ‘V’ for 1870 assay date

Ring size: US 7.5 / UK P / EU 55 1/4

Weight: 2.8 grams

Width of hoop / ring: 5.5 mm

Thickness of shank: 1 – 1.44 mm

Condition: some minute loss to the blue enamel, otherwise in pristine antique condition