If you love antique white gold jewelry, you probably know the signature BELAIS on a piece means it's the ultimate. For beautiful design and refined craftsmanship, the Belais Brothers surpassed all others working in white gold during the early 20th century.
This lovely wedding ring from an Arizona estate is an excellent example of why their jewelry is so esteemed and collectible. Its intricate pattern, executed in high relief, is a graceful motif that looks to me like tiny stylized leaves nestling close together in a garland. It measures 2 mm wide, weighs 2.4 grams and definitely dates from the Art Deco era or a bit earlier, since the company crashed with the stock market in 1929. Along with the BELAIS 18K stamp that appears on the interior is the name Horton, signifying either the jeweler who sold it proudly or the surname of the happy bridal couple. This is an unusual touch, lending extra charm to its history.
In lovely condition, the ring shows only minimal age-appropriate wear under high magnification, and should fit if you wear a size 6, 6.25 or 6.5. Nobody's fingers are exactly the same size all the time -- they vary up to half a size with temperature and time of day -- and ring sizing equipment yields different results, too, depending on whether it's wood, plastic or metal. That's why we prefer to think of ring sizes as a range.
Any of our Belais bands, BTW, could easily be modified to become an engagement ring with the addition of prongs and whatever stone you like. I don't normally recommend adapting antique jewelry, but I recently saw online an alleged "Belais Solitaire" which certainly didn't begin life that way; it had a honking big modern diamond in long, witchy prongs -- and a honking big pricetag of $9250! That was way over the top, but it set me thinking about little delicate prongs and a gem in proper scale. This could actually be very pretty.
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