Antique Carved Hermes Moonstone Diamond Ring
Victorian jewelers and designers seemed to have a penchant for re-interpreting previous styles of jewelry. Elaborations on themes from the ancient Etruscans, Greeks and Romans led to new “twists” on forms from the Renaissance and even as recently as styles from the Georgian period.
Harkening back to the glory days of dazzling jewels and resplendent size from the 18th century, this Victorian ring does justice to its forebears. Gloriously warm old mine cut diamonds set in silver, twenty-two (22) in all, form a sparkling corona giving just homage to a rare carved portrait of the Greek mythological figure of Hermes. Although a deity himself, he was deemed the herald or messenger and translator of the gods. In Olympia, he was known as the god of travelers and boundaries, wit and oration, invention and even commerce. It was his commission as psychopomp, to guide the souls of those crossing the threshold to the underworld.
Exceptionally well carved upon the surface of a moonstone, this image portrays Hermes with his traditional wings worn as a diadem upon his tousled curling hair. Carved moonstones became especially fashionable around the later part of the 19th century. Hermes as the subject is quite unusual as the typical carved images were of cherubs or the faces of babies. This one is the ultimate.
This is an outstanding example of a Georgian revival which exhibits fine carving and an sleek setting in a prodigiously sized ring set into a simple bezel of 18k yellow gold. Each of the twenty-two diamonds is approximately .05 carats, which brings the total estimated diamond weight to a substantial 1.1 carats.
Condition: Excellent; extremely light wear to the gold commensurate with age and use; one minute scratch to the chin visible upon magnification.
Measurements: ¾ of an inch (2 cm) high by 11/16 of an inch (1.7 cm) in width and rises ¼ of an inch (0.7 cm) from the finger at the greatest rise. This antique ring has a weight of 8.8 grams (5.7 dwt). Currently a US size 8-1/2 (UK Q-1/2; Euro 18.5, 58.5 mm) and can be sized by our expert jewelers.
Date: Circa 1890 – 1900
Note: All diamond weights and color grades are approximate since the stones were not removed from their mounts to preserve the integrity of the setting.