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  1. #1

    Default Ruby and Pearl Ring

    This was given to my grandmother for her 16th birthday, which would have been in 1912. I've tried to get a close up of the only marking I can find inside it but I can't figure out what it is. Any idea what kind of pearls these are likely to be?

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  2. #2
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert KarinK's Avatar
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    Uhhh, that's pretty! I love old rings like that! You are so lucky. These would be natural seed pearls (as in not helped along by man) but small pearls like that seems to have been fairly common at the time. I have several old rings with seed pearls involved, none of them expensive. The rubies would be worth quite a bit more than the pearls.

    - Karin

  3. #3
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member LitGeek's Avatar
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    What a lovely ring, and even more so because it is a family heirloom!

  4. #4
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    How did I miss this? Graceful design with what appear to be high quality rubies. What a treasure, thank you for sharing. Sorry, no idea what the marking would be either.
    Pattye


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    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  5. #5

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    Thank you all! I thought they might be seed pearls. I have a ring being worked on at a jeweler and may take that one along when I pick it up and see if they can make sense of the marking.

  6. #6
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Very pretty! But remember that Verneuil process -- that is, synthetic or lab-grown-- rubies were in production at this time.

  7. #7
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    Very pretty! But remember that Verneuil process -- that is, synthetic or lab-grown-- rubies were in production at this time.
    Interesting! I wonder if this type of synthetic rubies can be identified through a loupe? Based on differences in crystalline structure, inclusions, etc.
    Pattye


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  8. #8
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Pattye, I pulled out our copy of Gem Identification Made Easy by Antoinette Matlins and A. C. Bonanno. (This is a great book, by the way.)

    On the Synthetic Gemstones and Man-Made Imitation chart, it has these comments about Verneuil flame-fusion ruby identification and characteristics:

    "1. Curved growth striations, curved color banding.
    2. Small spherical, pear-shaped or tad-pole shaped bubbles.
    3. Proliated gas bubble (a row of bubbles which, together, have a sausage-shaped outline.
    4. Small black 'dots' (excessive chromium oxide that did not melt or absorb dusing the synthesis). This is often observed in old ruby synthetics.
    5. Strong red fluorescence when observed under longwave ultra violet radiation.
    Burmese rubies also fluoresce strong red, but weaker than the synthetic."

    Elsewhere in the book (pp. 75 and 80) it says under a Chelsea filter, both natural and synthetic rubies will be strong red than without the filter but the synthetic will be a stronger red than the natural.

    On p. 57 under Bubbles, it says you may need higher than 10X magnification to be sure what you are seeing are bubbles rather than a small crystal.
    On p. 58 under Curved Striae, it says these are easiest to see under a microscope. Elsewhere it says 60x magnification.
    I don't see anything in the book (yet) about whether the small black dots could be seen with a loupe.

    I'm not a gemologist and would be very interested in exploring this further, but from the bit I've read, I don't think I would count on a loupe to tell natural from synthetic rubies. But maybe a Chelsea filter would be a relatively portable and inexpensive thing to take along as long as you have a natural (and fluorescent) ruby on you for comparison.

    There may be more info on the Gemology Online forums. Link: http://www.gemologyonline.com/Forum/phpBB2/index.php

  9. #9
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    More reading:

    http://www.gemstones-guide.com/Testi...Gemstones.html

    There's a photo at 25x magnification of the curved striae of the flame-fusion rubies here (scroll down): http://www.bwsmigel.info/lesson9/de....simulants.html

  10. #10
    Pearl Journalist Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    A chelsea filter and a pen light will make any flame fusion synthetic rubies glow like beacons! Antoinette loves showing people this "trick".
    GemGeek
    The World Is My Oyster!

  11. #11
    Pearl Journalist Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    Definitely, www.gemologyonline.com is a very good reference and a great forum where you can ask newbie questions about gemstones.
    GemGeek
    The World Is My Oyster!

  12. #12

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    How interesting! How much of a specialist would be required to make this identification?

  13. #13
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert KarinK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GemGeek View Post
    Definitely, www.gemologyonline.com is a very good reference and a great forum where you can ask newbie questions about gemstones.
    As long as you don't mention the chelsay filter! It is not considered in any way a tool for analyzing gems and they tend to flame people who bring it up. That being said, the forum is as informative and nerdy as PG And there is a ton of information about how to identify gems and tell (or not tell) if the gem is synthetic or enhanced.

    - Karin

  14. #14
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I completely forgot that I had a lab-grown corundum (ruby) briolette that I could look at with a lighted 10x magnifier.
    I can see the growth lines readily.

  15. #15
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    PD, gosh, I have that book too, totally forgot about it.

    GG and Karin, thanks for the referral to the other forum, sounds most helpful!
    Pattye


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    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

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