Opals are so magical. The fiery play of color, they way they seem to change from every direction: it’s no wonder these captivating gems were once considered to be aligned with evil forces. They’re also pretty delicate, as gemstones go, which always makes me feel like antique opals are a little extra special, because of the particular care their owners must have taken to keep the pieces in good condition.
This particular antique opal ring is all that and MORE. It was originally going to share this post with one other piece, but I love it too much to divide its spotlight.
Here it is: the antique opal ring that stole my heart (today, anyway). This incredible thing, which is for sale at A Brandt + Son, dates to the mid-Victorian period, circa 1870. It is beautiful beyond comprehension.
As you can see, this glorious opal – which is in perfect condition, not a chip or a crack – is set in a mounting of 18k yellow gold topped with sterling silver. The yellow gold shank is embellished by fabulous carved detailing on the shoulders, which makes me swoon completely. The 18k gold gallery is also adorned with a lovely, simple scalloped design – a beautiful touch that adds to the whole of the ring without feeling fussy. Although you can’t see it in these photos, the ring shank is stamped “C&S Co.”.
Here it is on a lucky hand. The front of the ring, of course, is further embellished with a heart-shaped surround of diamonds ringing the opal and – my utterly favorite part – a perfect diamond set bow in silver-topped gold. The opal itself is luminous, resplendent with white, orange, gold, blue, and green fire.
I think its proportions are utterly perfect. The large opal and the rich color of the silver-topped gold prevent the heart and bow combo from feeling saccharine.
If you hadn’t guessed by the perfect color contrast and custom fit, the antique ring box in the photo above is this antique opal ring’s original box from 1870. I know – just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, right? The inside top of the box is stamped “JAMES GAULD JEWELLER ALFORD & KEMNAY.”
Do you love this as much as I do, my darlings? Maybe we could arrange some kind of time-share situation if enough of us pitch in for it? Tell me your thoughts.
This antique opal ring is for sale by A Brandt + Son. All images and info are thanks to A Brandt + Son.