Horseshoe Shaped Flat Oval-cut Garnet Antique Ring
This horseshoe ring was actually once upon a time a lapel pin. The horseshoe is pavé set with a 6 oval, flat-top garnets, insterspaced with seven garnets of graduated sizes, all of which are Bohemian garnets. 'Bohemian' garnets were so-called given their origins, being mined in the part of the world known as the country Bohemia. We salvaged the horseshoe, a low-karat gold vermeil, from the original pin and the band is a split-shoulder style, fashioned from a recycled 10k gold band modeled after an origianl Victorian ring band in our collection.
The horseshoe was made and first worn during the Victorian period, the latter half of the 1800's, sourced in Europe. This was a time and place when and where Bohemian garnets were enjoying a vogue; while they were a dark, somber red almost to the point of looking black in some lights, they also had a fire seemingly from within and glittered in candle-light which lit up the many facets of these garnets.
Bohemia, a Germanic compound word meaning the 'home of the Boii people', was once a kingdom in the Holy Roman Empire which was absorbed after World War I into the modern day Czech Republic. Bohemian garnets are the Pyrope variety of the stone, popular among the garnet varieties, and are known for their deep blood red color. Pyrope (from the Greek for 'fire eye') garnets have been mined in this part of the world for hundreds of years and gain their lustrous red tones from the elemental mix of Chromium and Manganese specific to the rock formation there.
Bohemian garnet jewelry enjoyed a spectacular popularity in the late Victorian period that garnets didn't see again arguably until the 1980's. Eastern European jewelers fueled this boom in the late 19th century by bringing to market moderately priced jewels studded with pavé-set, locally sourced stones to fill out their original, Art-Nouveau style designs such a North-stars and florals. These styles cleverly harnessed the beauty of the garnets themselves while the metal settings took a back seat. As a result the metals employed were typically low-karat rose-toned gold (9-12k) or vermeil based in lower grades of silver, such as 800-900, gilt with gold.
The garnet horseshoe is a long-term favorite of ours and we have made and will continue to make several rings in this style. This one is a particularly unique example of this style in terms of the garnet cuts, shapes and sizes...often all the garnets are rose cut and/or are a uniform size throughout the horseshoe, but the unique combination of shapes and sizes of these garnets here makes for an one of a kind piece.
MATERIALS: Bohemian Garnet, 10K Yellow Gold
SIZE: 9.5 (US). Can be resized upon request.
DIMENSIONS: horseshoe face is 16mm wide x 18mm tall x 2.5mm thick. Band is 2mm all around
CONDITION: The horseshoe is in very good condition. The band is new.
BIRTHSTONE for: January