A new arrival is a wonderful Victorian antique diamond brooch, set with a 0.51 carat brilliant cut diamond in the centre; it is set with pearls, but the highlight is the fabulous enamelling, in green white and blue. It is marvellously detailed, and one of the finest examples we have seen for many years. It has a pendant fitting, so can also be worn around the neck.
We will be closed on Monday 20th of May 2013 for the day; we apologise for any inconvenience caused.
A lovely selection of newly arrived engagement rings has been upload to our website, from a vintage Art Nouveau solitaire to a fabulous cluster with a 1.14 centre stone.
You can view them through this link: Antique Engagement Rings
We are always interested in buying diamond jewellery and Irish silver; if you have a piece of silver which you are interested in selling, please email us, if possible with a photograph of the piece, and we will be in touch. All emails are treated with the strictest confidence.
For almost all of history, emeralds have been cherished and loved by man (and woman!). It is thought that the ancient Egyptians were mining emeralds as long ago as 3500-3000BC. The ancient Romans were thought to have an emerald mine in the Alps, but if they did, it was a very minor source. Indeed, until the Spanish Conquistadors discovered the abundant supplies of emeralds in South America in the 16th century, most emeralds came from Egypt.
Where emeralds come from
Today, most emeralds come from South America (Columbia and Brazil) or Africa (Zambia and Zimbabwe), although there are other smaller deposits in Asia. Historically, Columbia is the most important source, and most of the finest emeralds in the world are Columbian. In the kunsthistorisches museum in Vienna is this most amazing example, a 2860 carat emerald, where two crystals grew into each other.
What to look for in an emerald
Most people are in general agreement that the biggest thing to look for in an emerald is colour- one wants to see a rich, vibrant green, not too dark, and not too pale. All other things being equal, it is a combination of the hue, tone and saturation of colour which determines the value of an emerald. This colour is caused by a combination of trace amounts of chromium, vanadium and iron; generally, the more chromium or vanadium, the more intense the green colour. Iron gives a slightly blue tinge to the colour.
Emeralds are slightly pleochroic, that is that they exhibit two distinct colours at the same time (in this case, two different shades of green); this can be seen through a special lab instrument called a dichroscope. In day to day life, this has implications for cutting, because the pleochroism can be enhanced or reduced by the direction in which the gem is cut; it is desirable to deep the colour, so generally the stone will be cut perpendicular to the length of the crystal.
Most emeralds contain inclusions, a fingerprint from when they were created; it is so common that there is a special name for inclusions in an emerald, “jardin”. In itself, this is not a problem, so long as the stability and durability of the stone is not compromised. This is where the trained eye and judgement of a professional is invaluable. Inclusions in an emerald also help us to determine the origin of a stone; in many cases, inclusions are location-specific, so spotting one can tell us where the stone was mined. Below is an example of an inclusion from a Columbian emerald
Variations in Emerald colour
Below are some different emerald rings; in the photos you can see some of the many different shades of green in which we can find emeralds.
Some newly arrived diamond engagement rings have been uploaded to the website today, with everything from a vintage cushion cut solitaire to a modern Tiffany style ring on show!
Cushion Cut engagement ring
The first is a 1 carat oval cushion cut diamond, circa 1890, set in an unusual twist setting, with diamond shoulders. For more about cushion cut diamonds, follow this link: Cushion cut diamonds. As is typical of rings in this era, it is set on yellow and white gold.
Edwardian engagement rings
The next is a pretty Edwardian style diamond ring, with small diamonds set the whole way around the band. It is an F colour, and weighs 0.91carats. The biggest innovation in the Edwardian period was the introduction of platinum as a metal for jewellery, and this is a fine example.
In a similar style and era, but with a much bigger diamond, is this engagement ring; it has a 1.8 carat diamond, and is cut in what is called Transition Cut. This is when cutters moved away from the cushion cut, and we moving towards the modern cut; the modern cut in diamonds was introduced in 1919, and was the standard style as early as the mid-1920s.
This diamond is exceptionally lively, and has terrific fire and sparkle. One lovely feature is the double claws, which give great security, but still allow for maximum sparkle.
Art Deco engagement rings
After the Edwardian period, one enters the Art Deco style; this diamond is a 0.95carat, VVS clarity, and set with graduated diamond baguettes.
Tiffany style engagement rings
The last example is instantly recognisable – a Tiffany style solitaire. It is set with a 1.50 carat round brilliant cut diamond, with six claws. Tiffany’s classic design has remained almost unchanged for decades, and shows off a diamond beautifully.
We are back behind the video camera, making videos for our youtube channel!
Below are 6 new arrivals for you to enjoy, and please subscribe to our YouTube channel for more as we upload them!
For more information on each of these rings, please go to www.weldons.ie, or just click Diamond rings at the top of this page!!
A Posy Ring is a gold ring with a short inscription on the inside. The name comes from the French word “poésie”, as the inscription is usually in the form of a rhyming couple or verse.
It was common practise to give such rings at weddings from the 16th century until the 18th century. They were also sometimes given for other events, tokens of friendship or loyalty, or as religious or memorial rings. generally the inscription is on the inside, hidden to everyone except the wearer. In early examples, the inscription is usually in Norman French, later examples will often be in French, Latin or English.
Although they are very rare, the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford has a wonderful collection.
We have recently acquired a beautiful example, with the inscription inside reading “A Mind Content Cannot Repent”. Look at the beautiful style to the engraving, particularly on the “A”.
We will be exhibiting at Ireland’s largest antiques fair in the South Court Hotel, Limerick this weekend, on Saturday 9th March and Sunday 10th March from 11am until 6pm.
Please come and pay us a visit!
A wonderful new collection of diamond engagement rings have just come in, and together they give a lovely overview of diamond rings through the last 150 years.
The first ring is a super 1.5 carat cushion cut diamond, set on platinum. Cushion cuts are one of the most beautiful shapes of all, and have unparalleled fire and liveliness.
Cushion cut diamonds are generally square or rectangular in shape. (The precise shape depended on the shape of the rough gem, because at the time there was no way to cut across and reshape the round, all polishing was based on grinding down the rough.) This example is a wide oval shape. Cushion cuts tend to have a higher depth percentage than a round brilliant cut and will also have a smaller table facet, and steeper angle from the edge of the diamond to the table (crown angle). This diamond dates to about 1860, and is a VS1 clarity.
The second ring dates from about 1910, and shows the influence of Art Nouveau/Belle Epoque styling, and also a change in the cutting style of diamonds. It is more noticeably round, and is highlighted with baguette cut and brilliant cut diamonds.
Next there is a two stone twist, in classic Art Deco style, with graduated diamond baguettes highlighting the main stones. Two stone twists were classic dress rings, though in modern times they are also worn as engagement rings.
The next ring to show is this 1 carat diamond ring, claw set in platinum, with beautiful diamond shoulders; there are both princess cut and round cut diamonds in the shoulders; the mixture of cuts gives lovely sparkle from any angle, and the centre diamond is very high quality.
The last ring is is modern diamond solitaire ring, claw set with pear shape diamond shoulders. It has a 1.3 carat centre stone, and is vibrant is lively. You can see more classic lines in the ring, and plain shoulders, typical of the modern era.
We are constantly getting in new stock, much of which we do not put on our website; the best way to see everything is to call in! You can find contact details on this page: Weldons contact information