Art Deco (1915-1935) received its moniker from the Exposition International des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris in 1925, which was largely dedicated to the jewelry arts. Emphasis was placed on the association of art and modern industry. Inspiration for this style was as far reaching as Oriental, African and South American Art and as varied as Cubism and Fauvism, both popular movements at the time. The term “Cubism” was often used to describe jewelry of this era because of the angles, geometric lines and figurative representations used in its execution. A desire to eliminate the flowing lines of Art Nouveau and distill designs to their rudimentary geometric essence, thus eliminating seemingly unnecessary ornament, resulted in the cleaner and more rigid lines employed in Art Deco jewelry. A look forward toward modernism and the machine age also featured prominently at this juncture in jewelry history.
During the Art Deco era, advancements in cutting techniques, including the advent of the modern round brilliant cut style, allowed for diamonds to become more dazzling and scintillating than ever before. Meanwhile, prosperity was permitting more people to afford diamond jewelry and engagement rings. New casting techniques further increased accessibility, as jewelers discovered more efficient ways to produce the most intricately detailed of settings.
Diamond is a gemstone composed of chemically pure carbon, with a cubic crystal structure and manifesting extreme hardness resulting from the incredibly strong chemical bonds between the carbon atoms. Diamonds are valued for their brilliance, fire and beauty. Usually perceived to be a colorless gemstone, diamondsactually occur in every color including: yellow, green, pink, blue, purple and red. The value of a diamond is set by measuring and evaluating what in the diamond business is referred to as the four C’s. – color, clarity, carat weight and cut. Diamond color is measured on a scale ranging from D to Z with D being the most colorless (and most desirable). Clarity has a series of designations that range from Flawless to Included representing the relative number, type and visibility of inclusions. Carat is a measure of weight where one carat is equivalent to 1/5 of a gram or 200 milligrams. Cut includes the shape of the finished diamond as well as a determination of how well the diamond was fashioned, its proportions and finishing details.
The most popular form of sapphire is blue sapphire, which is known for its medium to deep blue colour and strong saturation. Fancy sapphires of various colours are also available. In the United States, blue sapphire tends to be the most popular and most affordable of the three major precious gemstones (emerald, ruby, and sapphire).
Because of the softness of pure (24k) gold, it is usually alloyed with base metals for use in jewelry, altering its hardness and ductility, melting point, color and other properties. Alloys with lower carat rating, typically 22k, 18k, 14k or 10k, contain higher percentages of copper or other base metals or silver or palladium in the alloy. Copper is the most commonly used base metal, yielding a redder color.
The element platinum derives its name from the Spanish Platina del Pinto which translates to ‘little silver from the Pinto’ (said to be a river near Popayan, Columbia in which alluvial platinum was first found by the Spanish Conquistadors). Its white metallic luster leaves little doubt as to why the Spanish chose the name. Platinum belongs to a group of elements, fittingly called the platinum group of metals. Apart from platinum the group comprises Osmium, Iridium, Palladium, Rhodium and Ruthenium. Platinum is often found as natural alloys containing one or more of these other elements and it wasn’t until 1804 that all but one of the elements were isolated and named. Platinum is malleable, ductile and very strong. In addition, it does not tarnish and it doesn’t corrode making it a highly prized metal and extremely suitable for the manufacture of fine jewelry.
Authenticity, antiquity, decorative periods, vintages and or circa dating are determined to the best of our ability based on materials incorporated, methods of manufacture, design, hallmarks and signatures, lapidary techniques, technological developments and consultation of our extensive reference library and materials. Dating and period attributions are not an exact science as decorative periods frequently overlap and borrow influences from one another.
Some of our pieces are mounted in a way that makes it difficult to determine a precise stone’s grading. Diamonds and colored gemstones that cannot be removed from their vintage settings without harm to the piece are evaluated in their mountings using industry-standard measurements and formulas. Jewelry descriptions and all carat weights stated represent approximates. Mounted stone(s) is/are graded only insofar as mounting permits observation. All diamonds shown on our website are natural, untreated diamonds.
Most colored gemstones (i.e. rubies, sapphires, and emeralds) are commonly treated to enhance colour or clarity. This has not been researched for this specific item.
We cannot guarantee that the color you see matches the item color, as the display of color depends, in part, upon the type of computer monitor used to observe the image.
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We hope you enjoy our collection, but please keep in mind that we carry a large collection of unique, individual items in our store, only a portion of which appear on our website. So if you don’t see what you are looking for, by all means, please contact us. Our staff will be more than happy to assist you.
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