RING WITH NINE RUBIES
Probably England or Scotland, late 17th century
Gold, foil-backed rubies, enamel
Weight 2.1 gr.; circumference 53.2 mm.; US 6.5 size; UK size N
In Europe the ruby was a gemstone shrouded in myths and magic. Along with its many protective properties it was believed to energize the blood and heal the heart. In the Renaissance and Baroque periods its fiery-red color was associated with passionate love. Rubies along with diamonds became the most favored gemstones for betrothal and wedding rings, either as single-stones, clusters, or as here, set in an eternity band. A gold ring with plain gold band is surmounted on the upper half of the band with foil-backed rubies in table-cut and conjoined box settings: eight on either side flank a slightly larger and multi-facetted ruby (almost heart-shaped) in the center with raised and elaborate setting. The sides of the bezel are enameled in opaque white enamel with floral motifs in pale pink and black outlines. Some enamel is missing. The ring is otherwise in good wearable condition.