This antique blue spinel ring has a hypnotic effect, like gazing through the sheen of sunlight into deep, deep water. It's more than an inch tall, about 3/8 of an inch wide and stunningly faceted. Getting photos was a major challenge, due to the gem's mirror-like luster and elaborate marquise cut.
Many people mistakenly believe spinels are synthetics, when actually they're among the hardest and loveliest natural gemstones. In their most common red version, they've been frequently confused with rubies. For instance, the famous "Black Prince's Ruby" in the British Imperial State Crown turned out to be a spinel. Being blue, this is a rare spinel to begin with, and its ultra-rich color and size add to the rarity.
Another fascinating attribute of this ring is the convergence of Arts and Crafts and Art Deco style currents. The setting, appropriately for such a fancy-shaped stone, is simple, graceful and more than likely hand-made. Ornamented with only a couple of silver beads and a bit of engraving on the sides, the mount has a distinctly Arts and Crafts look. However, an early Arts and Crafts piece probably would have a plain cabochon stone, rather than a towering geometric shape suggesting Art Deco. Based on the blend of design influences, I believe it was made around 1930, so it's already antique by American 75-year standards.
Condition of the jewel is lovely. It takes a 10X loupe to notice any flaws at all and, even then, signs of age-appropriate wear are very minor. Markings inside the band are "Sterling Shank" and a maker's mark I haven't been able to interpret. It's a "V" over a horizontal diamond shape. If that means anything to you, please let us know.
The ring came from a New York estate, where the seller noted, "Blue spinel brings peace." I don't know about that, but this one is sure to bring a lot of pleasure.
There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and gift wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!