Spanish Treasure: Early Ruby Ring
Quite unsurpassed in its grandeur and flair, jewelry from the Iberian Peninsula is technically and stylistically unique and has an identifiable form which sets it apart from most regional jewelry. Traditionally gems are usually flat cut and rectangular and set into high carat gold with a definite sculptural flavor.
This late 18th century example displays the typical early cluster ring with a central dome set with a flat cut ruby in a rub over round collet of gold with castellated edge. The cluster is a scalloped ring of an additional eight flat cut rubies set in the same fashion and on each side flanked by a trio of rubies again in a castellated rub over dome setting.
The shoulders are ornamented with a Fleur-de-Lys motif. Although usually associated with France, the symbol has been found on Spanish coins such as the eight reale piece when King Charles II of Spain willed his throne to his grand-nephew Philip V (of the House of Bourbon) who ascended the throne in 1700.
Measurements: 9/16 of an inch (1.5 cm) in width north to south on the hand by 3/4 of an inch (2.0 cm) from ruby to ruby east west on the finger. This antique ring has a weight of 5.3 grams (3.4 dwt).
Ring Size: US 9 (UK R-1/2; Euro 19, 59.25 mm) and can be sized to accommodate most.
Hallmarks: Two indistinct hallmarks, one on each outer side of shank.
Condition: Very good; central ruby is darker in appearance and chipped on one side; one side stone replaced; one stone chipped down the center; all stones with light to medium wear commensurate with age and use.
Date & Origin: Circa later 18th century or very early 19th and is most likely Spanish in origin.