RING WITH GARNET CABOCHON
Western Europe, probably England, late 13th-14th century
Gold, with re-purposed garnet cabochon
Weight 2 gr.; bezel 8.9 x 6.5 x 6.5 mm.; circumference: 58.21 mm.; US size 8.5; UK size Q ¾
In the Middle Ages stones such as rubies, sapphires, and emeralds were considered to be most precious and of great value. They were sourced from countries in the Middle and Far East and traded within Europe through ports such as Venice and Genoa in Italy. It is therefore not unusual to find re-used gemstones even in magnificent reliquaries or other goldsmiths’ work.
The slender gold hoop is plain inside, and outside the ornament is composed of circular forms alternating with triple ridges in a frieze. There may originally have been enamel. The hoop ends support a high cup-shaped bezel with oblong ruby cabochon. On one end the ruby has a gold insert which was a decorative solution to cover the original drill hole from an earlier piece of jewelry. The ring is in good wearable condition.