11 October 2013

Rings on Top

With no beginning or end, the ring is an ancient symbol of eternal love. Here at Grays we have been doing our maths, and the statistics say that your favourite and the most sought after item, by far, is the ring. Following such great demand we have put together a blog that gives just a small taster of some exquisite examples of the variety and high quality of rings available at Grays.
Diamond Set Ring by Boucheron
From The Antique Jewellery Company

Ancient Carnelian Intaglio of Fortuna Ring
From Peter Szuhay

Regency Emerald, Ruby and Pearl Ring
From The Antique Jewellery Company

Simple and yet loaded with symbolism, the ring has endured and has survived on top of our favour for about 6,000 years. Ancient Egyptian and Archaic Greek rings, originally in bronze and silver, soon become more complex and start using gold as well. The most typical design involves a lozenge bezel mounting a carved gemstone device with images or inscription.

16th Century Agate Cameo Ring of a Lion
From Peter Szuhay

Multi-coloured stone, porphyry, marble, birthstones or commemorative stones, ancient cameos depicting pagan Gods, Christian saints and self portraits, five metals ring as a talisman, three interlocking hoops, golden heart shaped designs symbolising friendship, Rococo betrothal rings with love knots and bows, memento rings featuring  a skull with inscription as ‘memento mori’, large cocktail rings, the rosary ring most popular during WWI, Victorian ‘dearest’ ring and others that spell secret messages with precious stones, signet ring that imprints a wax seal, and the variety of styles and uses of the ring is absolutely inexhaustible.

Vintage 9ct Multi Gem Stone Ring from Nayabelle

Tribal Ring with Pearls from Tribal Tent

Edwardian Chainlink Platinum & Gold Ring
From The Antique Jewellery Company

But the crowning glory of all rings is the wedding ring together with the engagement ring and eternity ring. For the Ancient Egyptians the circle was a symbol of eternity and the space in the middle was considered a gateway to all things known and unknown. In the Greco-Roman tradition the ring signifies never ending and immortal love. And as a symbol of strength and permanence – and for Ancient Romans ownership - the material is important too and that it should be made out of the most precious and robust metal. Tracing it back to ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt we learn that they believed to have discovered a nerve called the ‘Vena Amoris’ or ‘Vain of Love’, linking the left hand’s fourth finger to the heart. This is believed to be the origins of the western tradition of wearing the wedding ring in the fourth finger today.


1940s Emerald and Diamond Ring from Spectrum

Diamond Solitaire Ring from Spectrum

Edwardian Double Heart Peridot and Diamond Ring
from The Antique Jewellery Company


Cataloguing or describing rings in terms of their manufacture, history or location can absorb us for a very long time and it will never be complete as the ring with its different fashions and associations is continually evolving. But we have managed to select some fine examples of rings on offer at Grays which we hope like us you’ll find them highly alluring.

Georgian Regard Ring
From The Antique Jewellery Company

Gold Plated Aventurine Ring from Tribal Tent
Edwardian Emerald and Diamond Cluster Ring
From The Antique Jewellery Company
Victorian Rose Diamond and Sapphire Cluster Ring
From The Antique Jewellery Company
Ruby and Diamond Ring
From The Antique Jewellery Company


For more information visit www.graysantiques.com

Written by Titika Malkogeorgou

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