'CHARLOTTE' - ANTIQUE 15CT GOLD GARNET & SPLIT PEARL MEMORIAL RING
I have begun referring to this ring as Charlotte, and although I won't be carrying the practice over to other stock, it seems to suit her.
She was made in memory of “Charlotte Sarah Raikes, died 31 March 1823 aged 23”. I have looked up Charlotte, and she appears in the pedigree of the Raikes family of Surrey, but there is precious little information on so short a life. The dedication inscription on the rear is clear and in exceptional condition.
The oval garnet cabochon has a split pearl surround and shoulders and the shank - which shows evidence of a repair or attempted sizing - reads “In Memory of”.
Weight 5.2g UK size Q.5 /US 8.5-75. I do not recommend resizing for this ring.
Some surface scratches, minor dents and a couple of tiny nibbles to the garnet, in keeping with the age of the ring. The Garnet is a delicious deep purple-pink, which flashes a gorgeous raspberry hue in natural light; it’s truly beautiful. One split pearl was an obvious replacement when I obtained her and has been switched out by experts for one of a size and colour in keeping with the others. Split Pearls in this context are said to represent tears.
All gemstones can be damaged through wear and tear. Make sure you check for loose stones or damaged claws 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 gold and many gems.
Different gemstones need different care – remember that many jewellery cleaning products can harm softer, porous or organic gems. If in doubt, a soft moist cloth is suitable for cleaning any gem.
Heat can play a factor too, so be aware of storing items too close to radiators – Pearl, Opal and Morganite are all susceptible to sudden changes in temperature.