Seraglio's Veil - Turquoise Ring c. 1700
Lift the veil of time and transport yourself to the 17th century Persia. Filled with the melodious ring of a hundred female voices, the seraglio* door is opened by a lean hand adorned with a robin's egg blue ring hand wrought in silken gold. His breath catches as the sight of his wives never ceases to stir deep emotions within.
Islamic rings from centuries ago often had a tradition of a knot or decorative raised portion on the outside bottom portion of the shank. Seeing this feature tells you immediately that the origins are most likely from the Islamic world. Certainly too, turquoise was mined in Persia (now Iran) and was a stone highly favored and valued for its color and its magical and symbolic properties.
This ring dates to the late 17th or early 18th century and is a polished cabochon covered in over 22k yellow gold. Typical of the period, the stone is set well above the shank in a simple bezel of gold which covers all the back and sides of the gem and then six claw holding the gem.
Measurements: The stone measures about 7.9 mm at the longest by 5.5 cm at the widest (note the stone is uneven in shape); the ring sits up 5/16 of an inch (8 mm) from the finger. Weight of 4.9 grams (3.2 dwt).
Ring Size: US size 6 (UK L; Euro 16.5; 52 mm). Ring sizing information.
Condition: Excellent, one claw worn shorter, one claw with wear; general light wear to the gold.
Date & Origin: Circa 1700 and Islamic in origin.
Historical Note: A seraglio was a harem or secluded living area for women in some Muslim cultures.