Victorian Ruby Ring 18k Gold Natural Pearls 1894 Chester

A sturdily made and fantastic 18k gold Victorian gothic revival ring, channel-set with five round faceted rubies and four natural saltwater pearls. The inner shank contains five British hallmarks, signifying the ring was made in 1894 and assayed through the Chester office. Rings bearing the ‘sword and three sheaves of wheat’ Chester hallmark (which was adapted from the town’s arms) are comparably more rare than those assayed through the more common Birmingham office. Today Chester is considered an historic assay office, having fully closed down in 1962.

Also of note is the arrangement of the pearls and ruby in a kind of gothic rose shape, and the chased decorative shoulders which seem to adopt geometric motifs from gothic architecture. The Victorian gothic revival movement, occurring between 1830-60s, enjoyed a second wave of popularity in the 1890s. The late Victorian gothic revival further accentuated and explored the high drama of gothic forms whereas the earlier movement was more interested in the idea of historical sentimentality.

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Date: 1894, late Victorian period

Materials: 18k gold, natural rubies, natural saltwater pearls

Diameter of rubies: 2, 2.7, 2.3, 2.7, 2 mm (each approx. 0.06 – 0.7 carats; total of ~ 0.46 carats)

– [P & S] Maker’s or Sponsor’s mark
– [Crown 18] for solid 18k gold
– [Sword with three sheaves of wheat] for Chester assay office
– [L] for the year 1894

Weight: 2.7 grams

Dimension of gem-set portion of ring: 16 x 6.3 mm

Width of shank: 2.5 – 3 mm

Thickness of shank: 1 – 1.45 mm

Condition: excellent antique condition, with all elements original