Ring thumbnail 1
Ring thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Ring

ca. 1890 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The gold band of this ring is set with a row of five open-set diamonds in deeply engraved star shaped settings. Women wore rings across all their fingers in the nineteenth century although the quantity worn decreased towards the end of the century.

The discovery of substantial diamond deposits in South Africa, which began around 1867 with a chance find by Erasmus Jacobs on his father's farm, transformed the availability of the stone. By the 1890s South African mines were yielding more diamonds than had been found in the previous 2000 years. Customers often preferred to make an impression through the number and size of stones used rather than the overall design of the ring. An Illustrated London News columnist wrote despairingly in 1887 of 'fine stones set in straight rows with as much notion of beauty and originality in their arrangement as in an old-fashioned box edging to a garden.'


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gold with diamonds
Brief Description
Gold ring with diamonds. Sponsor's mark 'WGM', probably England, ca.1890.
Physical Description
Gold ring with diamonds, marked '18 CT. Sponsor's mark 'WGM'
Dimensions
  • Height: 2.1cm
  • Width: 2.1cm
  • Depth: 0.6cm
Marks and Inscriptions
marks '18 CT.' and sponsor's mark 'WGM'
Credit line
Bequeathed by Rosemary Eve Lawrence
Summary
The gold band of this ring is set with a row of five open-set diamonds in deeply engraved star shaped settings. Women wore rings across all their fingers in the nineteenth century although the quantity worn decreased towards the end of the century.



The discovery of substantial diamond deposits in South Africa, which began around 1867 with a chance find by Erasmus Jacobs on his father's farm, transformed the availability of the stone. By the 1890s South African mines were yielding more diamonds than had been found in the previous 2000 years. Customers often preferred to make an impression through the number and size of stones used rather than the overall design of the ring. An Illustrated London News columnist wrote despairingly in 1887 of 'fine stones set in straight rows with as much notion of beauty and originality in their arrangement as in an old-fashioned box edging to a garden.'
Bibliographic Reference
Church, Rachel, Rings, London, V&A Publishing/ Thames and Hudson, 2017, p.82-3, fig. 107
Collection
Accession Number
M.23-1996

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record createdNovember 7, 2005
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