A bezel lesson…What is a bezel? It is a surround or precise “frame” for a gemstone or diamond that conforms exactly to its perimeter.
In early jewelry, particularly those from the 14th through to 18th century, often rings might only have one stone surrounded by a rub-over bezel. It was burnished until the metal, in this case, gold was spread like butter over the sides and a tiny portion of the top edge.
There is virtually no gap between it and the stone. Not even a fingernail can slip underneath the gold. Collectors note! Please pay close attention to its perfection.
As once disturbed, it can almost never be the same again. Often stones may have been removed and replaced, re-foiled, recut or the bezel damaged. It will look bent, rippled, dented, and have spaces between the metal and the stone it holds. Therefore, the value is likely significantly compromised. It is a rarity when you find a ring with its bezel in near-perfect condition.
This amazing early 17th-century ring is one piece of rock crystal, table cut, with pink foil beneath. It is then placed in a box bezel and then set in 18k yellow gold.
Simplicity and yet beyond elegance. Museum condition. Simplicity is the era and for similar rings, look up those from the Cheapside Hoard.
For a near identical ring, see the final photographs © Diana Scarisbrick's book, “Rings Symbols of Weather, Power & Affection”, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Publishers. Pages 90 & 91. The portrait is by Anthony Van Dyke in 1638, entitled, Thomas Killigrew and William, Lord Crofts (?) housed in the Royal Trust Collection, UK.