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Here we go again: Should I buy this antique emerald ring?

Pinkmartini87

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
746
Hi all, sorry, here we go again (I really want an emerald ring, can’t you tell lol).

18k marked gold ring with what looks like to me 2 old mine cut diamonds (although I guess moissanites could be cut this way too...) and a center stone which seller says is emerald but no papers. I love the color but is a little worried that it’s too clean for the price of around 3k? Can barely see any inclusions. Possibly paste? Glass? Synthetic emerald?

Hard to date this ring. Also tips for diamonds seem to be either white toned (silver tipped? White gold? Platinum?) while prongs for emerald looks much bigger and seem to be yellow gold. I think maybe one or more of the stones may not be original to the ring possibly.

I know one cannot judge by a photo, but any guesses as to the green stone? Fair price?

Should I take a chance??
B8E91070-7C3F-4717-A952-CE1165B24625.jpeg 62EB69BC-DC4A-43BA-9E88-30C3D3980D87.jpeg F8593275-A684-42FA-A3E4-2EFEA561CDFB.jpeg 58F260BA-57A0-4563-8217-1C40D2EAAC6D.jpeg
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
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11,228
@lovedogs Thank you for being the voice of reason!

I think I’m getting a little carried away and being less sensible, and maybe should stop browsing for a while, regroup, and come back after a break more focused.
It's a lovely ring, but for much less than 3k you could have it made with lab emerald and moissanite and it would look similar. So I think its important to think about whether you want the look (in which case you can save $), or whether having an auth emerald matters to you (in which case it will take more time and likely more $$)
 

Pinkmartini87

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
746
@lovedogs Thank you for thinking it through with me. I think I like to have an antique piece so I think I need to allocate more money and save up for a piece from a reputable seller with certification.
 

partgypsy

Ideal_Rock
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6,434
It kind of looks like a Zambian emerald but seriously I like the idea of paying for report but if not emerald they reimburse you for the cost. You don't want to spend 3k on unknown quantity (unless u have more money to burn than I do). Also to have agree if side stones not natural diamond no question return.
 

Pinkmartini87

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
746
@Garnetgirl @partgypsy Thank you both! I think the tough thing is a lot of antique pieces are not certified.

I just found another (around 1k, no certificates), I may go for this one since 1k although a lot of money I may feel better if there’s no certificate and just buy it for how it looks. Calling @PreRaphaelite also, what do you think for the price? Hallmark W corresponds to 1920-1921. Construction looks good.


29E8591F-99F6-4C79-8A70-FD0944D1B147.jpeg 8DF100AE-D484-4BFC-8508-505B6387DC99.jpeg 993A14E7-34FA-41A2-B70D-F2810A3FBFAB.jpeg 06869E75-57FA-4D13-A5EF-2BAE9F20CA4A.jpeg 98692747-F4F9-4C0C-A3E6-AF7F76D3646A.jpeg
 

partgypsy

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Nov 7, 2004
Messages
6,434
I actually like that ring better than the other ring, emeralds a pretty color. Biggest unknown is prob what condition the emeralds are in, as they are more delicate stones.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
3,740
Do you have a budget in mind? If the budget is high enough, I would browse 1st Dibs for emerald rings, because although not every piece of jewelry is certified, they do have a fair number of beautiful pieces that do come with certifications above a certain price. These are examples.


 

Pinkmartini87

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
746
@partgypsy Thanks for your wisdom!

@voce Thanks for the link. I think I’m budgeting for an everyday piece around 1-2k to wear without worrying about its condition too much (and maybe will forgo certification), to “hold me over” until eventually getting a knockout emerald piece 10-15k (May be a long while till I have the budget!!) with certification.

Not sure if this is a sensible plan or a crazy COVID-influenced going nuts at home kind of plan!
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
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May 13, 2018
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3,740
@partgypsy Thanks for your wisdom!

@voce Thanks for the link. I think I’m budgeting for an everyday piece around 1-2k to wear without worrying about its condition too much (and maybe will forgo certification), to “hold me over” until eventually getting a knockout emerald piece 10-15k (May be a long while till I have the budget!!) with certification.

Not sure if this is a sensible plan or a crazy COVID-influenced going nuts at home kind of plan!
For 1-2k, I think this is the nicest one, albeit it's a lab emerald.
 

Grymera

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 26, 2017
Messages
129
@partgypsy Thanks for your wisdom!

@voce Thanks for the link. I think I’m budgeting for an everyday piece around 1-2k to wear without worrying about its condition too much (and maybe will forgo certification), to “hold me over” until eventually getting a knockout emerald piece 10-15k (May be a long while till I have the budget!!) with certification.

Not sure if this is a sensible plan or a crazy COVID-influenced going nuts at home kind of plan!

I think for $1k-$2k as an everyday piece, you're setting yourself up for heartache. 1) Getting a "deal" on an uncertified emerald at this price point is doable, but risky. 2) Because you're highly interested in more authentic antiques, the chance of those uncerted, old stones having some kind of structural issue or damage is so much higher. I would hate for you to spend your money on something beautiful just for the emeralds to crumble or crack with daily wear and tear. I could see a good whack (although accidental) could be a significant problem. So in summary, I'd get a lab piece and save your pennies.
 

Bluemuse

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 5, 2020
Messages
85
Hi Pinkmartini87!
Your thread reminded me of a ring I saw last fall at an antique shop when I was visiting my daughter in Utah.
It was a beautiful antique emerald cushion with an old mine cut halo.

I passed on it only because I was more intent on finding a sapphire at the time.
I’ll share the photo I took and the one he sent me. It is still available. I actually called him today to ask since I remembered the name of the shop.

The pros: from my memory it was a beautiful color deep green with slight blue, Colombian, Nice size at 3cts with 1 ct in omc diamonds, price seems good/fair at $3900.

Also the owner of the shop is selling it for a Boston family, the original family that owned it. The ring has some sort of provenance involving one of the founders of Harvard Law School presenting this ring to his bride in 1908 if I got the story right.

Cons: no certs. The store says they guarantee what they sell, whatever that would mean would have to be clarified by the shop owner. He’s a very nice man. I visit there whenever I travel in that direction

I have contact info should you want it.

Here are the photos I have.
495FB0F8-8640-4D21-BB17-94E24AAC937B.jpeg
A2E6F660-715A-4906-8855-509302B9E394.jpeg
Best of luck in your search!
 

Pinkmartini87

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
746
@Bluemuse Thank you for taking the time to reach out! I’m very touched that you thought of me. Hope you and your folks are holding out ok in midst of all this.

We definitely have similar tastes—I loved your sapphire ring and I really like this ring also. Would love more info for sure.

I’m not allowed to list my email here but you can find my email in the item description of some stuff I have listed on pricescope if it’s not too much trouble to ask you to look on the link:
https://loupetroop.com/listings/ban...d-chandelier-earrings-offers-considered;34522
 

Bluemuse

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 5, 2020
Messages
85
@Bluemuse Thank you for taking the time to reach out! I’m very touched that you thought of me. Hope you and your folks are holding out ok in midst of all this.

We definitely have similar tastes—I loved your sapphire ring and I really like this ring also. Would love more info for sure.

I’m not allowed to list my email here but you can find my email in the item description of some stuff I have listed on pricescope if it’s not too much trouble to ask you to look on the link:
https://loupetroop.com/listings/ban...d-chandelier-earrings-offers-considered;34522
Thank you, PM!! Yes, absolutely agree about our similar taste! It’s hard for me to pass by an antique jewelry shop without being drawn in like a magnet.
I’ll share the info I have on LT.
The earrings your selling are beautiful! Dust for a smooth, quick sale!
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
3,740

Fact check: Harvard Law School was founded in 1817. So a 1908 wedding doesn't really match up, if it was the founder who married. I'm just suspicious by nature, because human memories are faulty.
 

Bluemuse

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 5, 2020
Messages
85

Fact check: Harvard Law School was founded in 1817. So a 1908 wedding doesn't really match up, if it was the founder who married. I'm just suspicious by nature, because human memories are faulty.
Thanks, Voce! I was driving when he was sharing the story. I jotted down what I could but left the notes in my car when I was posting.
I may have the dates wrong. Sorry.
I’m a skeptic by nature also, so I totally understand. And you’re right about memory eluding is sometimes.
Any provenance story should be vetted if it’s important to the buyer. I should have looked into the dates before posting. It’s been a busy evening.
If I were going to consider this ring for myself I’d be wanting to verify the info he shared and more importantly the details of the ring itself.
The thing I can say is that it was a beautiful color stone to my eyes. It left an impression that I haven’t forgotten.
 

Pinkmartini87

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
746
@Bluemuse Just wanted to say I got your email, thank you! I’ll keep you posted! Thanks for the compliment on the earrings—I love them but don’t get to wear them much, and need funds to buy a ring!

@voce Sharp sleuthing! I’ll be sure to be careful and ask lots of questions. Trust but verify.
 
Last edited:

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 2, 2013
Messages
3,130
I don't share @Grymera 's concern re: "uncerted" antique emeralds being at higher risk for structural issues that result in cracking or crumbling. Unlike us, emeralds aren't subject to osteoporosis as they get older ;))

Yep, emeralds are more brittle than diamonds and sapphires & fissure-type inclusions are the norm, but that's not a product of age but rather due to how they came into being. See, e.g.,
https://www.gia.edu/emerald-quality-factor -- especially the section on Cut
and
So newly mined emeralds are not inherently sturdier. And the standard, colored gemstone reports issued by GIA and AGL do not assess clarity/inclusions; only AGL's pricey Prestige Full-Grading Report assigns a clarity grade -- without providing any clarity plotting or additional details about the inclusions themselves (altho' I'm willing to bet that AGL would willing to offer more info were you to make a follow-up phone call & the nature and level of treatment is good to know). In any event, you're going to avoid putting any emerald ring into an ultrasonic or steam cleaning it, and should the ring need re-sizing, prong re-tripping or other work, you'll want to make sure the bench has expertise with a laser welder & colored gems in general.

My engagement ring was a Victorian, rosy-peach gold ring with 2 emeralds & mine-cut and rose-cut diamond accent stones. At the time of my divorce, it was ~130 years' old; the emeralds had just a couple of teeny "flea bite" nicks (I'd worn it daily and was guilty of not babying it, apart from not wearing it at the gym or when sailing, camping, or doing heavier housework).

I think the antique ring depicted in your post #9 is quite appealing, especially for the price. The emeralds seem to be a better color than those in many rings in that price range & the vintage setting is not only in good condition, it provides fairly protective mountings for the emeralds. Provided there is a unconditional refund policy, I think it could be worth your while to order it so you can see it for yourself in real life.

I love emeralds, so I'm getting vicarious pleasure out of your quest -- thank you for sharing it with us!

P.S. You're probably already aware of it, but here's the info and price list for AGL's reports. If the emerald in the ring in Utah that @Bluemuse so thoughtfully provided for your consideration is indeed 3 carats or more, it won't qualify for a GemBrief report (2.99 is the upper limit for emerald GemBriefs), but perhaps the Utah dealer would be amenable to negotiations about that.
 

Pinkmartini87

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
746
@MollyMalone Thank you so much for the wealth of information. I’m always so blown away by the kindness of folks here taking so much of their time to help out strangers online, although more and more I think of all of you as friends, and love that we can find common joy in the pursuit and admiration of lovely objects.

I’ll continue to keep all of you posted in what I end up going with. I’ve reached out to the vendor that @Bluemuse has graciously offered me, and I’ll sleep on it tonight (while dreaming of emeralds!) and rehash in the AM.

PS: would love to see a photo of your ring if you wouldn’t mind sharing. It sounds lovely, especially how descriptive you are with the “rosy peach” of the gold, I feel like I can almost see the lovely warmth of the gold. (The ring above under 1k that I posted does seem to have some surface fissures and pitting in one of the photos where the top facet catches the light, although to be honest I don’t think it bothers me that much. I used to be more OCD about it, but I’ve slowly come to accept to a degree the gentle knocks that antique jewelry can have sometimes, shows that they were worn and loved).

PPS: I love the osteoporosis comparison. Without giving away too much personal details, it’s one of the conditions I help manage almost on a daily basis in my occupation. So the analogy rang clear and strong for me.
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jan 22, 2014
Messages
4,340
The first ring, I’m a bit suspicious of the emerald. It could be lab. I wouldn’t risk it without a report for $3K. The emerald also looks a bit “flat” in tone. I also note that some of the claws are skewed and there’s probably girdle nibbles.
The second ring is much prettier in my opinion. The emeralds are more glowy and the setting more robust and better for more frequent wear.
I have two emerald and diamond rings and I only wear them for special occasions because Im rough on rings.
 

Grymera

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 26, 2017
Messages
129
My concern @MollyMalone is not that the antique emeralds themselves, had they been preserved in vault since their mining and setting, would be inherently less sturdy than a modern emerald. My point is more so that if you have zero clue if the emeralds are filled, treated, have any kind of feathers, fissures, damage, etc, because you don't have a cert and you're not experienced with emeralds (which is fine, I'm just an amateur) and you're looking for a an older setting which has likely been worn and loved and banged around-- that to me sounds like a recipe for disaster.
 

Pinkmartini87

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
746
@Bron357 Thanks for weighing in! I love your emerald and diamond ring, it’s so grand and I especially love the story of how you managed to nab a great deal on it, win-win all around!
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
4,340
I’ve told the story before but growing up I went to primary school with a girl whose family was South African. The mother had THE most fabulous jewellery including a massive emerald cut emerald ring. Like 20 carats plus massive. I was totally enamoured with this ring and would lovingly admire it anytime I could. Unfortunately Mrs Nedaloff banged her hand hard against something and the emerald sheared, literally into two pieces. She was devastated, I too was apparently inconsolable. My mother was frantic at the time wondering what on earth had happened to me to cause me such upset.
Emerald often have feathers in their crystalline structure and are brittle, so it is possible for them to chip or break if hit hard enough in the wrong spot.
 
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