The Ruby Red Edwardian Heart Brooch

Let us start as one does with cutlery: at the outside edge. Two tiers of stones - round cut diamonds then rubies - prong set in 9 carat gold with open backs to let light flood in and reveal their breathtaking scintillation, that is, twinkle.

Then of course, the centrepiece: a 45 carat, heartcut ruby. The colour of pigeon's blood, it was mined in the Valley of Rubies, Mogok, two day’s travel from Mandelay…

Is anyone still with me?

Of course, I lie. They're not diamonds. The ‘ruby’ did not come from a legendary valley. There are too few facets for a round cut and no hallmarks for gold. This is costume jewellery, created from paste and, I suspect, pinchbeck.

But it is about 100 years old.

How many times has this been a gift between young lovers? Giddy enough to want to SHOUT their love with a big sparkly heart, but having too few pennies to rub together.

Gazed at in shop windows, saved-up for, hidden in pockets, offered in shaky hands along with declarations and skipped heartbeats. Well, dear reader, that's how it came to me. This little brooch is rich in love.

Costume jewellery is all about the emotion; fine jewellery is all about the materials. For me, it's costume every time.

Invitation  to Comment

So who's stolen your heart? Costume or Fine Jewellery?

And what's the most romantic gift you've ever sent or received? Do share!

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  1. I adore this ring. Is it yours, Angela?

    The paste crystals remind me of Georgian "dirty diamonds"--perhaps my favorite precious stone.

  2. Hi Lorraine! This is a brooch (would make a great ring, though). I do own it, it was a Valentine gift a from my partner of 20 years. But, since photographing it for this blog, I can't find it. The romance has become a tradgedy!

  3. Je suis une idiote.

    How did I miss "brooch" in your headline? Maybe because I want this piece to be a ring.

    Hope you find the brooch soon.


  4. Little mistakes are very endearing, that's what I tell myself, frequently.

  5. It actually looks Georgian - 'Old Mine' cut is the style of the cut and why so few facets - even diamonds in those times were often silver-backed and in closed or open backed settings.

    Hope you find it too, it's beautiful x

  6. Hello Anonymous - I would be ecstatic if it was Georgian, thanks very much for that thought. The antique shop had labelled it Edwardian, and I took that as expert opinion.

    I have found it, behind some drawers of course.

    Please tell me more about your jewellery knowledge?



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