Antique and vintage rings are always desirable. Be it for yourself or as a gift, and you can't go wrong with the exquisite craftsmanship of the jewelers of the past.
Antique and vintage rings are, as a rule of thumb, masterfully executed using fine metals and precious or semi-precious stones. Some of these stones are rarely found in the mass produced jewelry today due to the cost of the stones themselves and the cost of hiring a jeweler who has the required expertise to handle such precious material.
Ruby is the red variety of the mineral Corundum and is probably the most recognizable for its bright distinct color, ranging from light raspberry pink to the reddest red. A reputable antique dealer will probably be able to offer you a dozen different rings featuring rubies on any given day. Jewelry makers of the past favored ruby because of its saturated color and also because of the stone's hardness, durability, luster, and rarity.
Fun fact: Transparent rubies of large sizes are even harder to find than Diamonds! This is to say, if you see a gorgeous ruby cabochon ring or marcise, go for it and treat yourself or someone special in your life to a stunning and valuable piece of jewelry.
Turquoise was one of the first gemstones ever mined--some records show its mining dating back to 6000 BC Egypt. Though, if the name sounds French rather than Egyptian to you, that's because it is. "Turquoise" comes from the same French word, "Turquoise", which means "Turkish" because originally rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets with Turquoise arrived in Europe through Turkey. Turkish jewelers would purchase fine quality Turquoise from Iran, where it has been mined for over 3,000 years.
Today, small insertions of Turquoise could be found in mass produced rings, bracelets and other pieces of jewelry. The craftsmanship of these often lacks elaborate designs and masterful executions of the past generation of jewelers. It's also often set in silver plated metals and the jewelry piece might lose its luster with frequent wear. This is especially true for rings since we wash our hands about a dozen times a day and we grab things that might scratch the surface of the poor quality metal.
There is a great variety of rings and matching earrings and bracelets with Amber on the vintage and Antique jewelry market. Amber is not a stone per se because it is fossilized tree sap that comes from the fossilized resin that is believed to be living in trees twenty five million years ago.
Amber often includes sand, silt and clay, that add a certain dimension and mysticism, if you will, to the "stone". Amber can be dyed almost any color and in its natural state, Amber's color ranges from golden yellow to golden orange, and from transparent to semi translucent.
Rings with Emerald are certainly in the fine jewelry area and not every antique dealer will be able to offer you several designs with this stone. However, the stone is so beautiful, we simply couldn't exclude it from the list and if you're looking for a unique gift for someone who was born in May, then look no further.
Emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl colored green by trace amounts of chromium (and sometimes vanadium). Beryl is not known for an exceptional hardness as most emeralds are highly inclusive. In other words, emerald's toughness is classified as generally poor. Very special skills are thus required of the jeweler who works with the stone.
The emerald is stunningly beautiful and has been an object of fascination in many cultures for over six thousand years. It's beauty and rarity are so prized, that carat for carat, a fine emerald may be twice as valuable as a diamond!