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Beautiful deco ring with very included .25 ct center diamond: Advice?

glitterata

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
3,618
I found a beautiful little platinum art deco diamond ring on ebay and couldn't resist buying it. I believe it's all original, from the 1920s or '30s. The setting is handmade with milgrain and single-cut stones in a classic deco design. It's really well made and lovely, and in beautiful condition. It's marked "10% IRID. PLAT." The center stone is 4mm (so about a quarter carat), a nice OEC or transitional cut with a medium culet, probably in the I-K color range (I'm guessing--not very white, but not very yellow). I got it for a good price and am delighted with it.

However, the center stone is very included. There are a couple of big feathers, including one very prominent one that basically takes up a whole quadrant of the diamond and reaches the surface, with some carbon and a couple of what look like naturals to me, but could be chips, on the crown. It's at least I1, maybe I2. But because it's only 4mm wide, the flaws aren't particularly easy to see without a loupe, at least to my oldish eyes. I think this is probably the original center stone--it's from the right period and fits the setting well, and the setting shows no sign of having been monkeyed with.

What would you advise me to do with this ring?

1. Leave it as it is; wear it and enjoy it. (I'll need to size it; it's currently way too big even for my pudgy fingers.)
2. Replace the center stone with a cleaner quarter-carat OEC/transitional cut colorless diamond (in which case, where would I find a good one?)
3. Replace the center stone with a 4mm colored gemstone (in which case, what kind?)
4. Replace the center stone with a 4mm fancy yellow diamond or other fancy colored (in which case, where would I find a good one and how much would I have to spend?)

Here are some photos of the ring. I couldn't get good photos of the inclusions, partly because the daylight was starting to fade when it arrived today and partly because it's so small; I'll try again tomorrow. I did take some pictures with my microscope, but they're a little hard to understand.

fullsizeoutput_69bb.jpeg

fullsizeoutput_69c8.jpeg

Here are a few shots of it with three platinum diamond rings from the same era: my grandmother's 1929 engagement ring (F VS1, 1.4 or so center stone), another 1920s ebay find with sapphires and a 1/2 carat or so center stone in the middle, and the new little ring at the top of my finger:

fullsizeoutput_69be.jpeg

fullsizeoutput_69ab.jpeg

fullsizeoutput_69af.jpeg

And here are a few attempts to take pictures of the inclusions with my microscope:
Photo on 2-21-20 at 5.12 PM.jpg

Photo on 2-21-20 at 5.16 PM.jpg

Photo on 2-21-20 at 5.22 PM #2.jpg

Photo on 2-21-20 at 5.22 PM #3.jpg
 

headlight

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2003
Messages
2,105
I love your collection! I think all your ideas are good - it just depends on what you want to spend. Are there any colored stones that appeal to you? I honestly think you should leave as is for awhile and then see how you feel about it.
 

Sunstorm

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
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Feb 5, 2014
Messages
1,593
Absolutely breathtaking Deco collection!!! Love them all, especially your grandma׳s ring but all of the designs are beautiful. I tend to leave these rings as is when the center is this small. But of course you can jazz up your collection by replacing the center. Given that you already have two stunning old cuts and you like color. I would replace it with a stone used around those times. I am thinking demantoid garnet of to stick with the color theme a fancy yellow green hued diamond. Just my idea on what I would do. Sounds like fun!
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
31,478
Lovely ring. I would replace the center stone with a cleaner old cut or a colored gem...whichever would entice you to wear this beauty more often. You have a wonderful collection. :love:
 

Mamabean

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2018
Messages
6,977
Lovely ring. I would replace the center stone with a cleaner old cut or a colored gem...whichever would entice you to wear this beauty more often. You have a wonderful collection. :love:
I agree with what @missy said @glitterata It is very pretty...Im sure you could contact one of the vendor here to get an OEC to replace the included diamond. Once you see an inclusion...and it bothers you...you will always see it..A pretty gemstone would also be lovely.
 

PreRaphaelite

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
1,908
Absolutely gorgeous - and I’m so excited for you!
Has it been deep-cleaned yet?
It is lovely, and your idea to have a fancy yellow diamond mounted is a wonderful option! I suspect Parks Fine group has some and then there’s Diamonds by Lauren, and perhaps Ivy & Rose.
Congratulations on a great find!
 

glitterata

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
3,618
Thank you for all the kind comments!

I don't really have "mind-clean" issues, so leaving the included diamond is definitely a possibility. It would have the advantage of being the cheapest solution and would preserve the ring's historical integrity, which is something I do care about. ( @LightBright, you urged me not to repolish a chipped diamond (on a different thread)--what would you do with this ring?) If I leave it alone, I can wear it as a modest or travel version of Grandma's ring. (Which would have the additional interesting effect of making Grandma's diamond look enormous when I switch back to it after wearing this very similar ring with a so much smaller diamond for a while.)

On the other hand, this seems like a good opportunity to showcase a colored diamond or gemstone, and at 4mm I think I might be able to afford fairly good quality. I would want it to be something appropriate to the period. I was thinking of a ruby or sapphire; the idea of a yellow diamond appeals to me a lot too. Maybe I'll ask the folks on the Colored Stones board what they think.

@Sunstorm , I love the idea of a demantoid, but they're so fragile, and I already have a lovely antique Edwardian demantoid ring:

demantoid alone.png

demantoid3.JPG

@PreRaphaelite, it hasn't been professionally cleaned, but I soaked it overnight in ammonia and water, went at it with a toothbrush, and am confident I got all the gunk off; the stuff really is inclusions, not dirt.

Hm, decisions! Well, I don't have to decide right away--there's no deadline.
 
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Sunstorm

Brilliant_Rock
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I often leave them as is too if they are true antiques. I will use not so perfect old cuts as I love them. But a greenish yellow FCD would be gorgeous. That said I think a modern cut might be mismatched in this setting.

I cannot comment on rubies or sapphires as I am not so much of a fan of them on me, a dark sapphire is probably the most era appropriate. What I would love the most I think is an old cut FCD but not easy to find.

I love your demantoid ring!!!
 

mrs-b

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 18, 2013
Messages
6,616
IF (and it's a big if) I was going to replace it, I'd only consider an OEC. There is quite a lot of real estate to this ring, and a 4mm colored stone would, to my eye, be out of balance. It would be one small dot of color in the middle of a lot of single-color surrounds and I think it wouldn't have anything to connect it to the rest of the ring. So I'd either leave it as is, or put in a different diamond with as much sparkle as I could muster!
 
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glitterata

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
3,618
The as-ises are gaining ground! A few more photos, in case they change anyone's mind:

1. Daylight phone photo:
fullsizeoutput_69ce.jpeg

2. Daylight microscope photos of the main stone and a closer look at the big, ugly inclusion:
Photo on 2-22-20 at 11.53 AM.jpg

Photo on 2-22-20 at 11.54 AM.jpg


Photo on 2-22-20 at 12.12 PM.jpg

3. And just for fun, a few daylight microscope photos of the ring from the side:
Photo on 2-22-20 at 12.00 PM #2.jpg

Photo on 2-22-20 at 12.00 PM.jpg

Photo on 2-22-20 at 11.59 AM #2.jpg
 

CaseyLouLou

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
208
The as-ises are gaining ground! A few more photos, in case they change anyone's mind:

1. Daylight phone photo:
fullsizeoutput_69ce.jpeg

2. Daylight microscope photos of the main stone and a closer look at the big, ugly inclusion:
Photo on 2-22-20 at 11.53 AM.jpg

Photo on 2-22-20 at 11.54 AM.jpg


Photo on 2-22-20 at 12.12 PM.jpg

3. And just for fun, a few daylight microscope photos of the ring from the side:
Photo on 2-22-20 at 12.00 PM #2.jpg

Photo on 2-22-20 at 12.00 PM.jpg

Photo on 2-22-20 at 11.59 AM #2.jpg
My vote is leave it as is. It doesn’t seem like the inclusions bother you unless you are looking with a microscope so wear it and enjoy and keep the history intact. It’s a gorgeous ring!
 

LightBright

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
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Mar 11, 2013
Messages
665
I’d leave it alone. It’s beautiful. And IF you stumble upon a beautiful colored stone you might consider replacing the diamond in the future. But I would NOT actively alter this ring unless the right stone comes along. Something with a lot of color maybe.

Your demantoid ring is beautiful, BTW. Is it French?
 

PreRaphaelite

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
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I have an imperfect stone with a large chip that looks awful.... but I love it just the same, and I really enjoy the feeling that I had ‘rescued’ it (her? I’m anthropomorphising again). I also like knowing that I can spot her a mile away, in a sea of sameness, of cookie-cutter perfect stones, yep, there she is with all her scars, still lively and full of fire. It’s almost like she’s got a crooked grin. Sometimes I put her away for a few days, just so I can feel myself crush on her again when I open the box.

I bet your new friend practically winks at you! What a flirt!

678F767E-0CF8-4989-A849-DA1085BC3EFC.jpeg
 

Sunstorm

Brilliant_Rock
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@PreRaphaelite can we see more photos of her? Not the chip, the stone / ring... I have a real soft spot for imperfect old cuts, they are so beautiful with those small flaws, like small wrinkles that time left on them. They tend to be my favorite because they are full of life, fire and character.
 

glitterata

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
3,618
I have an imperfect stone with a large chip that looks awful.... but I love it just the same, and I really enjoy the feeling that I had ‘rescued’ it (her? I’m anthropomorphising again). I also like knowing that I can spot her a mile away, in a sea of sameness, of cookie-cutter perfect stones, yep, there she is with all her scars, still lively and full of fire. It’s almost like she’s got a crooked grin. Sometimes I put her away for a few days, just so I can feel myself crush on her again when I open the box.

I bet your new friend practically winks at you! What a flirt!

678F767E-0CF8-4989-A849-DA1085BC3EFC.jpeg
PreRaph, how lovely! I'd love to see more photos too.
 

PreRaphaelite

Brilliant_Rock
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Feb 2, 2015
Messages
1,908
@PreRaphaelite can we see more photos of her? Not the chip, the stone / ring... I have a real soft spot for imperfect old cuts, they are so beautiful with those small flaws, like small wrinkles that time left on them. They tend to be my favorite because they are full of life, fire and character.
Thanks for asking! This was her old (probably original) setting, which now belongs to another PSer.
A7B32108-1018-4037-8BC4-40D0F0E4D440.jpeg

And here is her current setting, a casual daily necklace in imitation of Georgian style, inspired by the stylish @JPie’s original one.
9641F091-54A5-4B3C-8152-78AFDA27EC56.jpeg

I might still reset her again someday.
A01934FD-CEC9-4DC6-9334-DC0913BA007D.jpeg
 

Smith3

Rough_Rock
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Nov 20, 2012
Messages
66
Thanks for asking! This was her old (probably original) setting, which now belongs to another PSer.
A7B32108-1018-4037-8BC4-40D0F0E4D440.jpeg

And here is her current setting, a casual daily necklace in imitation of Georgian style, inspired by the stylish @JPie’s original one.
9641F091-54A5-4B3C-8152-78AFDA27EC56.jpeg

I might still reset her again someday.
A01934FD-CEC9-4DC6-9334-DC0913BA007D.jpeg
I love the setting, the diamond really pops
 

PreRaphaelite

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
1,908
PreRaph, how lovely! I'd love to see more photos too.
Do you think you might play with it for a while after it gets sized, and then decide, later? Maybe you’ll forget the crooked smile inside...

There are so many resets on PS that are much higher quality work than mine. Do you have enough stud earrings?

No matter what you choose, it is a stunning ring, and a beautiful stone :)
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jun 8, 2008
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31,478
No matter what PSers vote it doesn't matter at all. Which way would you adore and enjoy wearing it best? That's my vote. The choice that makes your heart go pitter patter when wearing and cherishing this one of a kind old beauty. And you know the old beauties are the best. IMO. And the older I get the more I feel that is truth. :lol: But back to the ring.

Which option would give you the greatest pleasure? And if you are not sure just living with it as is for a while might be the way to go for now. You can aways change your mind. But once you change the stone that is it probably (for the original stone I mean). So if not sure take a pause and wear it and see how you feel after time has passed.
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
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6,362
If you bought the ring at a good price, it is likely you paid nothing or nearly nothing for the center diamond. It likely is a replacement of a higher quality diamond that was removed to use in some other item years ago or in the recent past. You can't tell when. Such a diamond costs very little to put into a semi-mounting and it makes into a whole ring that can be offered for sale.

Leaving the ring as-is is the least costly solution. Finding a great deal on a replacement stone is also a fine option. While most of these rings were all diamond, there are plenty in circulation with sapphires and synthetic sapphires. Blue ones are most typical and equally durable whether synthetic or natural.

I'd be curious to know how you determined the ring is a handmade one. The light weight ones were mostly die struck and the more substantial ones were primarily cast. It is unusual to find a ring like this with any sign of it being handmade. The diamond setting work is done by hand on such rings of the period, but very few were one of a kind and made by hand making components and assembling them.
 

glitterata

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
3,618
@oldminer , you are probably right that it's not handmade, maybe die struck. I had that thought myself after it was too late to edit my post (unless there's some editing function I can't find?). All I meant was it shows a lot of hand work--hand piercing, milgraining--and doesn't look like a cast reproduction. I guess it could be cast and hand finished, but I'm confident it's old, from the 1920s-30s--you agree about that, right?

I bet you're right that the center stone is a replacement. That makes more sense than that they would put such a low-quality diamond in such a well-made setting. If so, it was replaced long before the guy who sold it to me got it. It arrived with its underside crusty with gunk, as if someone had worn it for years without cleaning it. The seller described himself as a retiring coin shop owner. I paid in the $500 range, which seemed to me like a good price these days for an original deco platinum setting, even if the diamond turned out to be nothing much. (The diamond looked better in his pictures than it does in real life--but to be fair, it looks better in MY pictures and from normal viewing distance, too.)

I think I'll leave it be for now, but keep my eye out for a beautiful blue sapphire or ruby, or maybe a yellow diamond. Or I guess if a clean, well-cut colorless 4mm OEC/TC falls into my lap, I'll consider switching the stone for it. Which more or less takes me back to where I was when this thread started! Sigh.
 

Ibrakeforpossums

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
114
I think it has lots of beauty and character. Maybe walk around with it for a while, see if it grows on you.
Thank you for this thread which brought out all sorts of imperfect diamonds that are much-loved by their owners. Wonderful to read.
 

MissCygne

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 12, 2020
Messages
32
Your vintage ring is very pretty. My daughter was gifted a lovely vintage engagement ring, by her husband last year. The vintage setting is beautiful and the diamond faces up white, but with obvious inclusions. The largest is a black carbon inclusion, and it also shows some feathers. It must be well cut through, because when I look at the ring, all I see are flashes and sparkles. Enjoy your beauty!
 
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