Small Survivor : Pearl and Peridot Victorian Ring hallmarked 1899

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A delightful little Victorian ring in 9ct yellow gold, with lovely crisp hallmarks for Chester 1899.

Rings like this are some of my favourites to imagine histories for – they are adorable little time capsules. The light construction and lower carat gold means that although it is very hardwearing it was affordable for a working lady to purchase for herself, or for a man of modest means to give as a gift for his sweetheart or his daughter. It was quite likely a birthday or other special occasion gift. Or, in my favourite version of a possible past for this ring – a “self love” gift from a lady to herself. Before 1870, any money made by a woman either through a wage, from investment, by gift, or through inheritance automatically became the property of her husband once she was married. What an exquisite thing it must have been to spend your own money after being denied that pleasure for so long!

The use of pearls was very popular and in this context would have stood for “purity”. Cultured pearls had not yet been invented but “shell based pearls” were a common alternative, made from crushed mother of pearl and bound with resin. I believe two of these pearls may be of that variety, with two possible replacement seed pearls. They are all a well-matched silvery grey, a tone they acquired over 100+ years of loving wear.

Peridot is the birthstone for the month of August, and while it was popular during Queen Victoria’s reign it came to prominence after the Coronation of King Edward VII in 1901 as he declared it to be his favourite gemstone. I have to admit that I have not had the stone verified by my gemologist and have therefore priced this ring as having all paste stones. Upon magnification there is some wear to the peridot which is fitting for its age – not the wear pattern I would expect for glass – however this is hardly a conclusive gemological test! The peridot has been gypsy set into an 8 rayed starburst. The back of the ring is closed, making the stone difficult to verify.

The style is quite unusual and not something I have seen before – the face of the ring reminds me of a magic spell book or a journal 📖🌟 with large pearl accents at the shoulders. I was originally drawn to it for it’s unusual style, that big green star at the centre of the book was irresistible, even more so when I realised that it had both of my children’s birthstones. It’s been some time since I’ve worn it so I’m liberating it from my collection and on to a new adventure.

The ring is in well loved antique condition and ready for immediate wear. The photographs for this listing are highly magnified and show every little bit of wear – most of this is not noticeable when worn.

The face of the ring measures 9.2mm east-west, 6.5mm north-south and sits 2mm high on the finger. The band is 3mm wide at the shoulders, tapering to 1.9mm at the back of the band. It weighs 1.1 gram

It is currently a I 1/2 or 4.75 (but fits my size J 1/2 or 5 finger to perfection) and is resizable – but please do take care of the hallmarks.

Description

A 9ct Victorian ring with hallmarks for Chester 1899, set with peridot (possibly paste) and seed pearls.

The face of the ring measures 9.2mm east-west, 6.5mm north-south and sits 2mm high on the finger. The band is 3mm wide at the shoulders, tapering to 1.9mm at the back of the band. It weighs 1.1 gram

It is currently a I 1/2 or 4.75 (but fits my size J 1/2 or 5 finger to perfection) and is resizable – but please do take care of the hallmarks. There is evidence of a very old resize in the past.

Additional information

Era

Victorian circa 1899

Metal

9ct yellow gold, hallmarked

Gemstones

Seed Pearl and Peridot

Ring Size

Aus/UK Size I 1/2
USA Size 4.75
(but fits my size J 1/2 or 5 finger to perfection)

Resizable?

Yes, but please do take care of the hallmarks