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This ring is circa 1885 from Lancaster Pennsylvania. The setting is handmade of 18kt white gold marked 18k and is set with a Mine Cut diamond which is a round cut. The diamond is 55 points of a carat or over one half of a carat in weight.
Mine Cut or Old European Cut
The old European Mine cut diamond has a very small table, a heavy crown, and great overall depth. This diamond cut was the fore-runner of the modern brilliant cut. Like the modern round brilliant, the diamond has a circular girdle. The culet is cut off to help light to shine into the bottom of the gemstone. Then looking from the top of the diamonds table it looks like a hole it through the diamond. This is not the case at all, just an illusion.
The diamond is bright and strongly set with 4 prongs. The gemstone is VS-2 in Clarity ( Very Slightly Included usually just 2 or 3 tiny inclusion visible only to a trained eye under 10x loupe) which is a very fine rating for diamonds. The Color is graded I (Near Colorless. When mounted in a setting may appear colorless to the untrained eye.) In this time period, diamonds were hand cut with other diamonds which were the hardest material available this old cut is considered to be the direct ancestor of the modern brilliant.
Diamonds, known for over 3000 years, were probably first found in India as loose stones associated with the sand and gravel of riverbeds For centuries they were thought to possess magical powers, no doubt because of their hardness and luster, and were kept, uncut, as sacred objects or important treasures of state by the religious and political leaders of the day. Being regarded as talisman that would lose their powers if they were altered in any way. It wasn't until the 11th century that diamonds were first worn, in their uncut form, as adornments. However, with the use of diamonds in jewelry, sometime in the 13th century it became known that a diamond's appearance could be enhanced by grinding and polishing of the rough crystal.
This was achieved by polishing with diamond dust at angles varying slightly from those of the original octahedral faces to form a point cut. A major advance in faceting came about with the introduction of the polishing wheel, in the middle of the 14th century. This led the way for brighter diamonds with increased facet pattern complexity.
The ring size is 5 ¼ but can be resized larger or smaller if needed without compromising the value of the ring.
The lovely ring is very comfortable and strong to wear and a wonderful original one of a kind Victorian ring with a quality diamond. The insured value as of May 2011 is $4500.00