Art Deco 0.45 carat Transitional Diamond and Pearl Twist Ring, c.1940s
1870s – 1940s. This is the transition between the old European and the modern brilliant cuts. The angles of these stones are more similar to the modern brilliant to other antique cuts. For example, the table facet size is increased, and culets are nearly nonexistent or ‘somewhat large’ but could not be described as ‘large’ or ‘open’.
A method of setting whereby stones are set and secured between a number of ‘claws’, usually four, six or eight. The method of setting was popularised by Tiffany & Co. in the late 1880s, and allows more light to pass through a gemstone than other settings. Sometimes referred to as prong set.
A metal prized for its rarity, whiteness, high tensile strength and insusceptibility to corrosion. It first became widely used in jewellery in the late nineteenth century, when methods were found to make it more easily workable. It features heavily in the delicate Edwardian jewellery of the first decades of the twentieth century.
Derived from the Greek meaning ‘unbreakable’, diamond is a mineral, considered to be the most beautiful and rare of all gemstones. Diamond has been associated with love for centuries.
A weight measurement of a gemstone or gold. The term is derived from the ancient used of carob seeds to balance scales when selling amounts of gold or gemstones. The term is often shortened to ‘ct’.
The section of the ring which fits round the finger. Also known as a band.
A gemstone and an organic substance. Pearls have been coveted through the ages for their beauty as symbols of wealth and status. Pearl formation process begins when a foreign body enters a mollusk (usually an oyster or mussel) and is coated with nacre as a natural defense. The natural pearl market declined after 1900, and today 99% of pearls are cultured and are grown around the world in saltwater oysters and freshwater mussels. Read more
One of the most defining characteristics of a diamond is its cut. While high grades of color, clarity, and carat weight affect a diamond, it's the cut that determines the symmetry of the stone's facets, its overall proportions, and its ability to reflect light. An expertly cut diamond will achieve high levels of brilliance, sparkle, and durability. For more information and cut types, see The Four C's.
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