ANTIQUE 18CT GOLD PEARL, EMERALD AND ALMANDINE GARNET CLUSTER RING
My first antique item of stock, and she's a beauty!
Beautiful buttery 18ct Yellow Gold. Wonderful sentimental engraved scrolls on the shoulders, which continue fully around the band, though it is somewhat worn - which may suit you as it would enable the ring to be sized - currently an O/ 7.5. A hand-cut Emerald at the top of each shoulder, with 6 pearls clustered around a central small Almandine Garnet, pink to violet in colour. The significance of this collection of stones in one piece is the reason I now own it; dating from 1900, the stones chosen are Green, White and Violet. The story is that this signifies the message 'Give Women Votes'. As a big ol' feminista and history nut, I couldn't let this pass me by.
This isn't quite right however, the slogan at the time was 'Votes For Women', which interested me enough to do more research, and the WSPU (Women's Social and Political Union) wasn't formed until 1903. The official colours of the WSPU were indeed purple (dignity), white (purity) and green (hope), and jewellery was fashioned in these colours, but was worn openly, with no need for codes. 'Give Women Votes' as a code in jewels would appear to be a myth.
If she doesn't fly out of stock I may keep her, as she's so very pretty. Also, it's a lovely story, and given the combination of colours and period, she may have been worn in support of The Cause. I'm a sucker for the romance of a good history!
All gemstones can be damaged through wear and tear. Make sure you check for loose stones or damaged prongs periodically. Always take your jewellery off whenever you are doing activities that might cause damage. Remember that household cleaners and chlorine in swimming pools can damage many gems.
Jewellery is best stored individually in a soft pouch or a box with compartments away from sunlight and where harder gemstones can’t scratch softer ones.
Different gemstones need different care – remember that many jewellery cleaning products can harm softer, porous or organic gems - such as pearls. If in doubt, a soft moist cloth is suitable for cleaning any gem.