Sapphire Rings of Long Ago, Josephine Style

Courtesy 1stDibs

Courtesy 1stDibs

All kinds of flashbacks are happening this Friday, so you’re in for quite a ride through history today. Remember the feature on the engagement ring Napoleon gave Josephine from a few months ago? You know, that diamond  and sapphire stunner? (Click here to refresh your memory. Nobody said we couldn’t Flashback Friday ourselves!) Well, we’ve found a few lovely pieces that were obviously created with the same “toi et moi” style in mind as the original 18th century piece.

This platinum crossover ring (left), featuring a classic pear-shaped sapphire and diamond, is a truly modern and elegant take on the toi et moi style. With the main stones surrounded by smaller baguette cut diamonds, we’d envy anyone with this beauty snaked around their finger.

Now, let’s flashback to 1930 with this classic Ceylon Blue Sapphire & Diamond Ring (right). With a sapphire and diamond snuggled close together in … [read more]

March 28 2014 Labels: | | | | | | | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Sapphire Rings of Long Ago, Josephine Style | Share this

A Love Note in a Ring from 1790

When I stumbled across this beautiful piece of jewelry, I knew I had to share it with you. This sentimental piece is from circa 1790, according to the actual handwriting on the ring and says in French, “For my Sophie You are always my little darling 1790.” One can only imagine the woman wearing this ring and the man who held her so close to his heart.  Was she a wife?  A lover? A grown daughter or treasured sister? We will never know for sure, but their adoration has stood the test of time, outliving them and becoming a mystery.

All of my best[read more]

February 11 2014 Labels: | Leave a comment | Comments Off on A Love Note in a Ring from 1790 | Share this

Napoleon Bonaparte’s Engagement Ring to Josephine

Photo Courtesy of AFP

Photo Courtesy of AFP

Between revolting against his government, instigating wars against almost every major European power, establishing a set of laws named after himself, and invading Italy and Russia (just to name a few events of his military career) even Napoleon Bonaparte found time to fall in love. The engagement ring he gave to his first wife, Josephine, whom he married in 1796, recently sold at a private auction in France for nearly a million dollars, which is much more than they estimated.
While simple, the two stones that compose the engagement ring make for an interesting contrast–a pear-shaped diamond and blue sapphire. What do you think of the “toi et moi” setting? Regardless of its simplicity and the ring is a small piece of some very important history. Although divorced 14 years later due to Josephine’s inability to produce an heir for Napoleon, Josephine saved the beloved ring, … [read more]

January 31 2014 Labels: | | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Napoleon Bonaparte’s Engagement Ring to Josephine | Share this

Antique Russian Diamond Engagement Ring

 

Courtesy 1stDibs

Courtesy 1stDibs

I find vintage pieces fascinating. One may only guess at the history such a piece holds. When trying on antique jewelry, I try to place myself in that era, imagining what the original wearer must have looked like, what she may have worn, what she did in her life. We’ll never know, as this ring has no written history.  However, we do know that cobalt blue enamel was very popular mid-eighteenth century, and that it looks ravishing with yellow gold.

Note the scroll work, somewhat medieval-style, on the sides of the ring. According to the jeweler, this piece was marked with a rhombus shaped assay stamp with the coat of arms of St. Petersburg – a scepter laid on two crossed anchors with date ‘1851’ below the maker’s initials of ‘AH’. We would love to see your heirloom pieces!

All of my best[read more]

December 2 2013 Labels: | | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Antique Russian Diamond Engagement Ring | Share this