21 Jun 2017

Stones That Rock Your Heart

There is something so satisfiying about old jewellery: it has a story to tell. It is then up to us as to whether we want that story to be part of our lives and at the same time to give it a new lease of life with the history we are set to write. As Roby and I were getting engaged, I was adamant my engagement ring would not be brand new, and that it would serendipitously cross our paths, show up to us without us looking for it. Vintage was my only prerogative and I was trusting the fact that items of a certain age come with underlying design quality and originality.

A ring named desire...

Roby and I were in Paris, and we had already come across a couple of jewellery shops but none had any vintage pieces. Then one day we walked into a posh antiques shop a breath away from Ile de la Cité and the lady there referred us to a friend of hers with an aristocratic name who sells vintage pieces. But then again I just wasn't feeling it, so we didn't pursue it.

... bearing a sapphire with deep mysterious blues that will never dull its shine!

The following day, as we were running some errands down the Boulevard de Magenta, I screeched to a halt outside an unassuming small boutique that looked like it had been stood there for decades but probably had seen better days way back. A quick casual browse through the shop-window and there it was: the ring that was to become mine!

I liked the fact the Marquise ring was white gold, and that its centre stone, a sapphire, was a moody blue: it was cloudy and had a lot of hues going on underneath the surface. Its ultramarine hues reminded me of the sky reflected in a choppy sea: a troubled, intriguing stone you can just lose yourself into! This has to be one of those sought-after, one-of-a-kind, Color-Change Sapphires.

Edwardian Antique Aquamarine Rose Diamond Ring, via Romanov Russia

The jeweller did not have much information on the ring, except that he played the old snake oil salesman trick of: "if it's not sold this week, I will have it sent out to a colleague in London for him to sell it for me." He was unable to provide a definite manufacture date, yet acquiesced when I ventured 1930s/ 1940s. I am no expert though and on closer inspection and with a little further research under my belt, I was enclined to believe the ring to be actually older, as in Edwardian (see above). But then I came across a Marquise Ring from c.1940 and it bears a close ressemblance to my own. Judge for yourself:

Marquise-Shaped Emerald Ring, c.1940, via Isadoras Antique Jewelry

If diamonds are a girl's best friends, sapphires have to her best assets! Find out more about sapphires: The Natural Sapphire Company teaches us about natural, unadulterated sapphires and The Knot tells us more about sapphire engagement rings.

Lady Di's Ceylon sapphire and diamond engagement cluster ring by House of Garrard (pict source)

Sources: (1-2) Sapphire Marquise-Shaped Ring, c.1930s, mounted on a white gold band (brand new), and purchased from a small jeweller's on the Boulevard de Magenta, Paris, France. Photography by Mirabelle Design Inspiration. (3) Edwardian Antique Aquamarine Rose Diamond Ring, via Romanov Russia. (4) Marquise-Shaped Emerald Ring, c.1940, via Isadoras Antique Jewelry.
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This article was last updated on 07-Aug-2017.

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