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Old Karin
 
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Gems used in the renaissance?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 02-26-10 , 12:51 PM


Hi Again,

This time I have just recieved a very unusual ring dating back from 1750-1800. Judging from the information I got and the details about the ring the dating seems valid. Apart from being an amazing piece of jewelry and history that I find very beautiful I am curious about the center stone.

The ring has two moonstones, four diamonds, two garnets and the big center carbochon. Looking at the picture before I got it I thought that the centre might be labradorite but it has none of the blue flashes that I have seen in labradorite. It has a strong chatoyant but has not been cut to display it. I think that with a different cut there might have been a star. I don't know if historically 'stars' are of a later date.

The stone is mostly brown/grey with the top appearing black except in certain lights where there is a bit of green. Any guesses? Anyone has any clue what gems were commonly used 250 years ago? I think this ring has some connection with the alchemical societies.

Anyway, adore this unusual ring, a good 10 g. of antique gemstones and 18 karat gold, almost 1 inch tall... :-) It does skit around my finger a bit because of the weight but I guess you can't have it all.

- Karin

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Re: Gems used in the renaissance?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 02-26-10 , 12:52 PM


PS

Having recieved the ring I am wondering if the two blue sidestones might be chalcedony instead of moonstone. One of them is opague but the other is not and they are both a lot more blue than I have seen in moonstone.

Any thoughts?

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Re: Gems used in the renaissance?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 02-26-10 , 09:33 PM


From the looks of those bezels I would say that the center and blue stones have been replaced at some point. Moonstone always has a sort of shimmering look to it , (adularescence), if that's not present then they aren't moonstone's. I've seen light blue stones like that which were both chalcedony and glass trying to mimic moonstone. You'd need to examine them under a microscope to tell.

The black center stone looks very much like a black star sapphire. Star only show under direct strong single source lights. Shining a penlight on it while in a dark room can help to show the star if one is present.

The only other option is to take this ring to an appraiser/gemologist and let them tell you something about it.


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Re: Gems used in the renaissance?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 02-27-10 , 10:24 AM


There really is a star! A 6-ray one so it should be sapphire. It is not near as clear and centered on the stone as some of the ones I have seen in pictures around the internet but it is definately there. How cool :-)

A friend of mine who deals in diamonds and other gems took a brief look at it last night and agreed with the black sapphire guess, which was my hunch too. She identified the two blue stones as moonstones right away so they may well be. I hope to have her look at in more detail in a loupe soon. She might be able to tell me more about the ring.

- Karin

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Re: Gems used in the renaissance?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 02-27-10 , 02:00 PM


Quote:
Originally Posted by Karin
There really is a star! A 6-ray one so it should be sapphire. It is not near as clear and centered on the stone as some of the ones I have seen in pictures around the internet but it is definately there. How cool
- Karin


Centering requires that the light be directly in front of the sapphire. If the light is off to the side then the star will move too. Try using a penlight and shine it straight at the center of the stone, it may look more centered with that lighting.


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