Carved Emerald Ring, ca. 1925

Value (2007) | $8,000 Auction$10,000 Auction

GUEST:
It was a ring given to me by my late husband, and he inherited it from his mother in 1975, and I believe that she bought it when she lived in New York City. I've been told it's a carved emerald with rubies and diamonds on it. I don't know if the setting is white gold or platinum. I'm guessing the year was in the 1920s. I really don't know.

APPRAISER:
Well, let's start with the size of the stone. Very difficult, of course, to measure it in the mounting, but I would say it's at least 20 to 25 carats.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
So it's big size.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
It's an emerald. And a lot of people that look at these stones say, "But it's not such a great color," or "It's not so clear." Well, that makes sense for a carved stone, because you wouldn't really carve a great stone.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
So most of these carved emeralds are not the best examples of the stone.

GUEST:
I wondered, because it has a lot of occlusion to it, yeah.

APPRAISER:
But that also makes it very difficult to carve, because if you have a lot of inclusions, it's pretty tricky.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
But the history of carvings-- that's what's interesting to me.

GUEST:
Oh.

APPRAISER:
This really dates back to the Mughal Empire when they carved stones. The Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal...

GUEST:
Really!

APPRAISER:
...he would have sacred text inscriptions put in, and carry them as talismans, so it has a long history. And when we look at the carving, it's floral. Little flowers.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
So I would say this carving was probably done in the '20s. Now, what happened in the '20s is, Cartier would remount a lot of these emeralds from the maharajahs into Art Deco jewelry.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
And so it became a fashion. So, many of these we always hope are Cartier. Now, I looked carefully.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
It's platinum.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
White gold. I could not find a signature.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
So that's disappointing, but the ring looks like it's been sized down, so perhaps it was signed at some point. Oh. I think it might be Cartier.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
That would be my guess. Wouldn't that be something. It has two rubies, as you know.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
But on one of them, if you can turn it, has a pretty large chip out of it.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
So this ring was worn a lot. The stone-- the emerald itself-- actually has some chips, but it's such a fascinating combination, and it is Art Deco. You're absolutely right.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
But it doesn't have the signature.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
So, what happens when it doesn't have a signature? The value is not going to be up there.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
But I would say, because of the style, because of the size, because of the carving, and because it's so pretty and so interesting, that it is worth between $8,000 and $10,000.

GUEST:
Oh.

APPRAISER:
Even in this condition. If it were signed Cartier or Tiffany...

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
...the price would be $30,000 to $50,000.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
Right. So, I'm going to give you a task. You think that it might have been purchased at Tiffany.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
Try to find the original bill...

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
...because then, you would have something really, really valuable.

GUEST:
Right, if I could find that receipt.

APPRAISER:
That's it-- get that receipt.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Thanks for coming today.

GUEST:
Well, thank you so much.

APPRAISER:
You're welcome.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Skinner, Inc.
Boston, MA
Appraised value (2007)
$8,000 Auction$10,000 Auction
Event
Louisville, KY (July 28, 2007)
Form
Ring
Material
Emerald, Gold, Platinum, Ruby

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