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Old hollyann
 
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Unusual old rose cut cluster - opinions please?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 03-15-10 , 04:25 PM


I'm sorry I haven't got photos to help here, but circumstances didn't permit.

Our local (very reputable) auction has a ring in this week's catalogue. It is described as a "yellow metal and rose cut diamond cluster ring. 300-500." The diamonds are irregularly shaped, quite silvery in colour and very sparkly. The chap at the auction said that the stones are not great quality but that the cut makes them look better than they are. An auction regular had a look and said it looked like it was made around 1880ish. None of us could find a hallmark but the gold is quite yellow in colour so I'm guessing 18k. I imagine that it is listed as "yellow metal" because there's no mark and they didn't test it - ?

My questions are:
- Why are the stones silvery? Is is because the stones are flawed so they are darker than a high-quality, clear, colourless stone? They remind me of grey diamonds, and they are dazzlingly sparkly. Are they likely to have been backed with reflective metal (which I read used to be done to give this cut more sparkle)?
- Would it be a complete waste of money (if it came in around the estimate)? I find it quite enthralling, and it is very unusual, but if it's not good quality, perhaps it's silly to buy it. When it comes to diamonds, I hear quality, quality, quality, so I wonder if this is just a trinket and I should save my money.

(Backstory: we just got engaged and have a good budget for a ring - 5000 - but maybe this ring isn't really good enough for that kind of a once-in-a-lifetime purchase?)

Thanks in advance...

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Re: Unusual old rose cut cluster - opinions please?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 03-15-10 , 11:40 PM


Hi and welcome to DiamondRing.com. You are correct that gems were often backed with foil to enhance their appearance. Rhinestones which might be thought of as silvery, were often treated in this manor. You should be sure the stones are real diamond and the gold metal is real gold before you purchase the ring, and make sure they have a good return policy so you can have it independently appraised after the sale.
As for its worth for an engagement ring it is really up to your own tastes and whether you'll love it enough for it to be "that ring". Some of us on the forum seek stones and old pieces specifically for the story they carry so don't think you're the only one.
If you buy it try to post some photos...we'd like to see it.
Irish


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Re: Unusual old rose cut cluster - opinions please?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 03-16-10 , 08:04 AM


Quote:
Originally Posted by irish
Hi and welcome to DiamondRing.com. You are correct that gems were often backed with foil to enhance their appearance. Rhinestones which might be thought of as silvery, were often treated in this manor. You should be sure the stones are real diamond and the gold metal is real gold before you purchase the ring, and make sure they have a good return policy so you can have it independently appraised after the sale.
As for its worth for an engagement ring it is really up to your own tastes and whether you'll love it enough for it to be "that ring". Some of us on the forum seek stones and old pieces specifically for the story they carry so don't think you're the only one.
If you buy it try to post some photos...we'd like to see it.
Irish


Hi, and thanks very much for your interest and your reply.

This ring is being sold at a very reputable auction house in London which specialises in antiques, so I think my only option is to take their word for it. As far as I am aware, auction items are never returnable, thought I suppose I could auction it again if it was not what I thought it was. I believe that they are not able to say in the catalogue that it is gold without a hallmark or certification - though the stones are listed as diamonds. I believe that this lack of certification is being reflected in the low guide price. The stones are irregular in shape and rose cut - is it likely that a diamante or rhinestone could mimic this shape?

I understand what you're saying about my own interest in the ring, but I guess I wanted to know if stone quality is the only factor in valuing an old and unique piece of jewellery. I may have an interest in this ring, but is is effectively worthless if the stones are not great?

These stones have a similar silvery effect (though this ring is likely to be much older than the one I am interested in):
http://www.berganza.com/jewellery_r...d=14&page_num=1

The auction is this afternoon, so I plan to go along and see if there is any interest in this ring. If I can get it at a good price, I will bid. If i win it, I'll post a photo.

Again, thanks.

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Re: Unusual old rose cut cluster - opinions please?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 03-16-10 , 11:15 AM


Quote:
Originally Posted by hollyann
The stones are irregular in shape and rose cut - is it likely that a diamante or rhinestone could mimic this shape?


It's a possibility, but unlikely since this is being sold by a firm which has reputation to uphold. Any stone with a flat back will show a distinct window when it it not tilted enough allow the facets at the back of the stone to reflect light. If you can't see through a rose cut when looking directly at it, then there is some sort of mirroring going on from some other source. With rhinestones that mirroring comes from a layer of reflective material adhered to the stone. With some rose cuts that show this effect, the mirroring comes from reflective metal behind the stone. If this is the case then you can expect the polished metal behind the stone, as well as the flat back surface of the stone to become tarnished and/or dirty and difficult to clean leading to a frosted silvery appearance. Not much that can be done about it without removing the stones, cleaning/polishing everything and re-assembling the piece. Since much of the value of these pieces is due to their history and cleaning them too thoroughly removes evidence of that history, most people by leave them alone and enjoy them for what they are.

Quote:
understand what you're saying about my own interest in the ring, but I guess I wanted to know if stone quality is the only factor in valuing an old and unique piece of jewellery. I may have an interest in this ring, but is is effectively worthless if the stones are not great?


It would be worth very little if torn apart and the pieces sold, but the value of antique pieces has more to do with the overall quality and any history that the piece might have. Even if there is no story to go along with the piece, if it's in good condition and representative of the era, then the value can be many times the value of the parts. If you look at it, like it and the price is right then why not give it a little more life and add to its history ?


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Re: Unusual old rose cut cluster - opinions please?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 03-17-10 , 05:32 AM


Thank you Michael_E. I thought as much about the auction. If they couldn't be trusted they wouldn't have such a good reputation.
Unfortunately, someone else was interested so I bid up to my limit and had to let it go. Not to worry - ring shopping is fun!
Many thanks.

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