A stunning choice for either a woman or a man, this antique ring is quintessentially Arts & Crafts. Unusual stones, mounted simply but artfully (typically in silver), are characteristic of the movement. Its adherents wanted design and craftsmanship to dominate.
Among their favorite materials was glittering goldstone: an art glass created by adding copper crystals to produce brilliant flashes of light called aventuresence. Here a large cabochon of it has been polished to a fare-thee-well and set in a classic open-backed bezel, then given a medievalist look by framing it with four curliques cleverly formed from the ends of the dual shank. The shank unites at the rear, making it easy to alter the size, now about a US 5.25. (I say "about" because different ring sizing equipment yields results that vary up to half a size, as our fingers also do with temperature and time of day.) The band is slightly out of round, a common condition that most jewelers will correct in a jiffy while you watch.
The ring's face measures 3/4" by 11/16" and its provenance is a Missouri estate. Nearby Chicago was a hotbed of outstanding Arts & Crafts metalwork, so I'll bet the ring originated there. Its quality is such that it simply had to come from a major city. As is often the case with antique jewelry, no mark is visible -- none were required in the U.S. until shortly before WWI -- but the silver looks to be sterling grade or close. Condition is excellent, requiring high magnification to notice any surface wear. A fair amount of tarnish is present, which in deference to the purists among us we'll leave in place.
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