OPAL – OCTOBER BIRTHSTONE

The opal has been highly valued since long before the Ancient Greek and Roman eras. There are two main types of opal: precious and common. 

Victorian antique opal diamond bangle

An opal and diamond bangle, set with three oval, cabochon cut opals, measuring 10 x 7.3mm, 15.2 x 9.3mm and 10.1 x 6.3mm, with four 5-5.5mm natural bouton pearls, surrounded by old-cut diamonds in a crossing over pavé style setting, with trefoil finials, interspaced with opals on stalk settings, mounted in silver on an 18ct yellow gold bangle £9,500

The precious variety shows that magical play-of-colour which is so highly sought-after. It captures the attention and imagination of anyone who lays eyes on one of these gemstones. 

Victorian antique opal diamond crescent pendant

A late Victorian opal and diamond crescent pendant, set with eleven, graduating, oval cabochon cut opals, with pairs of old-cut diamonds set between, in grain settings, with a cut down side and pierced gallery, mounted in gold, circa 1888, with a plaque marked l.b.88, on a modern, 18ct gold trace chain. In Victorian symbolism the crescent or new moon symbolised a new relationship. Hopeful it will “wax” into matrimony £5,500

The more common variety simply does not show this optical effect. It can come in a variety of colours from pink to green to blue to yellow. 

Vintage opal diamond ring

A vintage opal and diamond ring, set with an oval opal, with green to blue play of colour, in a textured surround, with four round brilliant-cut diamonds set in each quarter, with a scrolled gallery and engraved shoulders, mounted in platinum, circa 1950, with marks TO and Pm £3,200

Another variety is known as fire opal, which is a transparent to translucent variety. It can be orange, red or yellow and sometimes displays a play-of-colour, but often does not.

Antique opal diamond brooch

An antique opal and diamond brooch, with an opal with a predominantly red play of colour, mounted in gold, with four groups of three old-cut diamonds, in silver-upon-gold, millegrain edged, rub over settings, with a loop to convert to a pendant, circa 1900 £8,800

The Greeks believed the opal gave one the power of prophecy and foresight. Opals enjoyed a long period of favour. The Romans thought that opals represented purity and hope. Opals were regarded in high esteem until the 18th and 19th centuries. Then perception changed and they were believed to be unlucky, causing misfortune and bringing harm to the wearer.

Art Deco opal diamond pendant

An Art Deco pendant, mounted in platinum, set with French-cut and old eight-cut diamonds, a cabochon marquise shaped opal, baguette and round cut demantoid garnets and round rubies. Estimated total diamond weight 0.90ct, measures approximately 38 x 22mm including bail £11,000

Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria the Oriental Circlet Tiara that featured 11 precious opals. These were later replaced with rubies by her granddaughter Queen Alexandra, who believed them unlucky.

Victorian antique opal diamond emerald ruby butterfly brooch

Antique butterfly brooch, mounted in silver-upon-gold, set with an opal to the body, old-cut diamond set wings, emeralds and cabochon-cut rubies, circa 1880 £23,000

Prized precious opals were relatively rare prior to the 19th century. The best examples come from present-day Slovakia.

A gem set bee pendant, with an oval cabochon cut opal and amethyst set to the body, articulating wings, set with eight-cut diamonds, and ruby eyes, on a trace chain, mounted in gold, with white gold settings for the diamonds £18,500

Today, there are many localities where opals can be found. The best and most valuable ones were discovered in the late 19th century in Australia. Places of highly desirable opals include deposits in New South Wales called Lightning Ridge and White Cliffs.

Our selection of of opal jewellery can be viewed at our premises at Richard Ogden, 28 Burlington Arcade, London

ANTIQUE JEWELLERY – why buy antique and not modern?

Why buy antique jewellery? What are the benefits?

A 19th century micro mosaic suite, with swans and birds, with pendant and earrings, in Etruscan style bead and wire gold work, with shield like panels with doves eating grapes, and swans on water, with elongated drops each side, with flowers and centre drops, Italian, circa 1870 £19,500The primary reason to buy vintage or antique jewellery is quite simply because you get far better value  for your money than buying new.

Antique jewellery is strictly defined as over 100 years old. Vintage is loosely anything younger than that but even mid-century modern is nowadays sometimes referred to as antique.

A pair of French, Art Deco, diamond drop earrings, set with old-cut and rose-cut diamonds, in grain and rub over settings, with millegrain edges, each with five tassels of alternating diamonds and double leaves, mounted in platinum, with an estimated total diamond weight of 18.00ct, circa 1930 £95,000

Manufacturing costs add considerably to the costs of modern stones and designs. Antique stones are not necessarily of lesser quality. They tend to have fewer facets than modern cuts, and so throw a softer light and sparkle.

An antique, French, diamond fringe necklace, with rose-cut diamonds in rub over settings, alternating with graduating old-cut diamond drops, with an estimated total diamond weight of 12.00ct, the back piece detaches to wear as a separate bracelet, mounted in silver-upon-gold, bearing French marks for 18ct, length approximately 48cm £48,000

The quality of antique jewellery cannot be beaten, since it was all traditionally bespoke, handmade and hand finished by highly skilled craftsmen. It was also not made in quantity so each piece is unique. Today’s machine made jewellery and laser cut stones might look brighter and flashier but the designs tend to be duplicated worldwide.

An antique, sapphire and diamond bee brooch, set with old-cut diamonds and sapphires, with cabochon rubies for the eyes, mounted in silver-upon-gold. English, circa 1880 £19,000

Financially, antique is the better investment and holds its value far better than modern. Think of buying a new car. The minute it leaves the showroom the value drops and decreases rapidly over the next few years until after a time it is almost worthless. On the other hand a vintage car only increases in value as the years go by. Antique jewellery bought well and from a reputable dealer will hold its value far better than modern.

A pair of antique Wiese intaglio cufflinks, set with cornelian intaglios, mounted in 18ct gold. The intaglios depict a child’s head; the bust of a philosopher; Hygeia, the Greek goddess of hygiene, with a serpent around her neck, this intaglio is dated to circa third century A. D. and Gryllus, a Greek mythological character, who was half man, half pig, with two faces, one on his stomach this intaglio is dated to circa second century A. D.. The cast mounts depict three rows of rope style wire twists, with a beading surround, in fine gold, with carabiner fittings, with French eagle marks, signed Wiése. . Accompanied by an invoice dated 1925 £20,000

The charm and romance of antique jewellery cannot be replicated. It comes with a long history of fascinating ownership. We don’t always know the full history of each piece but each item has its own story to tell: why it was made and for whom, where and on which occasions it was worn. One can only imagine.

An antique snake bangle, with blue enamel on gold, with gold engravings either side of the four hinges. The head is set with old-cut and rose-cut diamonds, with a total weight of approximately 5.50ct, cabochon ruby eyes and a red garnet topped doublet. Garnet topped doublets were produced between 1850 and the early 1900s. In Victorian symbolism the coiled snake symbolized eternity. £45,000

We are currently exhibiting some of our finest pieces at the LAPADA Fair in Berkley Square, London.

E-tickets are available to download from our website www.moirafinejewellery.com

SAPPHIRE – SEPTEMBER BIRTHSTONE

Sapphire Diamond Ring

Sapphire is September’s birthstone. It is the lovers’ stone. It has protected romantic unions from harm through history.

A sapphire diamond ring set with an 8.64ct cushion-cut sapphire in the centre, with diamonds set in the surround, shoulders and bezel and with calibré-cut sapphires set around the finger bezel, mounted in platinum £45,000

It is best known for it’s blue to violet colour. Sapphires range through the colour spectrum from white through pink, green, orange, blue to almost black. This corundum, like its sister stone the Ruby, is the second hardest mineral. 

 

An Oscar Heyman sapphire and diamond ring, set with baguette and brilliant cut diamonds and calibre cut sapphires, set in a knot style design, mounted in platinum £7,000

The sapphire is said to hold wisdom, power, and faith. It protects and brings blessings from heaven. Priests often wore  this stone to help protect them from temptations of the flesh and impure thoughts. 

A pair of sapphire and diamond double cluster drop earrings, with oval faceted sapphires set horizontally, surrounded by round brilliant cut diamonds in illusion settings, with cluster drops, set vertically, with a round brilliant cut diamond between, mounted in 18ct white gold, estimated total diamond weight 0.60ct, mounted in 18ct white gold £4,900

The sapphire was popular with royalty. It is believed the sapphire provides protection from envy and harm. Warriors valued this stone and would give sapphire necklaces to their wives before they go into battle to prevent unfaithfulness. The  belief was the stone would darken if a woman was unfaithful.

A fine, modern, sapphire and diamond fringe necklace, set with oval faceted sapphires, weighing an estimated total of 33.40ct, in diamond set drops, with round brilliant-cut and baguette-cut diamonds, with an estimated total diamond weight of 20.00ct, mounted in platinum £99,000

 

The largest mine for sapphires is in Australia. Montana in the United States is also a predominant source of sapphires though they host small stones which are mostly used for industrial use. 

A sapphire and diamond mitre set ring, with an emerald-cut sapphire, surrounded by mitre set, baguette-cut diamonds, with baguette-cut diamond set shoulders, mounted in platinum £19,500

Kashmir sapphires are now a rarity, famously renowned for silky cornflower blue coloured sapphires. The mine was exhausted and no more sapphires have been found since. 

A Tiffany & Co. Art Deco sapphire and diamond cocktail watch, with a mesh strap, edged with diamonds, with shoulder terminals set with sapphires and diamonds, in platinum, with a C. H. Meylan, movement, circa 1930 £24,000

Sir Lanka is well-known too as a source for sapphires. The largest known sapphire was recently discovered in a Sri Lankan mine at 1,404 carats. This is compared to the now second largest sapphire that is in the Logan Sapphire Brooch at 422.99 carats and which is to be found at the Natural History Museum in Washington D.C.

 A pair of sapphire and diamond, carved, gold, double sided cufflinkssapphire and diamond, carved, gold, double sided cufflinks, with oval, cabochon-cut sapphires set in each centre, with three old-cut diamonds, in rub over settings, in each head, mounted in carved gold scroll work, with chain fittings £3,500

Our selective sapphire collection can be viewed online or at our outlet at Richard Ogden in 28 Burlington Arcade, London 

PERIDOT – AUGUST BIRTHSTONE

Peridot, in shades of olive, is one of the few gemstones that forms in only one color. Beautifully faceted, it evokes the lateness of summer and the onset of fall, as leaves morph from green to gold and hang like jewels in the sunlight. It is a crystal of warmth and well-being, mentally stimulating and physically regenerating.

A Carlo Giuliano enamel, peridot, moonstone, garnet and gold pendant with a cabochon-cut peridot, in the centre of a cluster of eight, cabochon-cut moonstones, with a blue, white, black and red enamelled fleur-de-lys surround, bordered by a circle of white spotted black enamel, with a briolette-cut garnet pendant, with a black, blue and white enamelled cap and a black and white enamelled pendant bail, mounted in gold, circa 1885

It carries the gift of inner radiance, sharpening the mind and opening it to new levels of awareness and growth, helping one to recognize and realize one’s destiny and spiritual purpose. 

 

A gem-set pendant, with collet set pink tourmaline, peridot and aquamarines, suspended from a 14ct yellow gold frame, on a fine loop-in-loop link chain, measures 60 x 31mm, chain length 50cm

Associated with the sun, Peridot has been prized since the earliest civilizations for its protective powers to drive away the forces of darkness. Set in gold and worn around the neck or bound to the left arm, it was used as a charm against sorcery and magic, evil spirits, night terrors, and madness. It cured cowardice, calmed anger, as well as brightening the wit.

A gem set, diamond and pearl floral pendant/brooch, four clusters of three pearls, spaced with gem set flowers, each flower centrally set with a round brilliant cut diamond, surrounded by three gem set leaves, including sapphire, amethyst, ruby and peridot, set in 14ct yellow gold, signed Tiffany & Co, with fold-able pendant loop

Peridot is still celebrated for those virtues, protecting the aura, purifying the physical and subtle bodies, and alleviating emotional burdens, guilt and obsessions. It is particularly beneficial for overcoming fear, depression and other psychological disturbances, as well as releasing jealousies, resentment and spite in order to move forward.

A multi gem set long chain necklace, with garnet, citrine, amethyst, topaz and peridot, in eye-glass settings, with chain link detail between, in 14ct yellow gold, with a figure of eight clasp, length approximately 90cm.

Peridot promotes responsibility and forgiveness, instilling confidence in one’s own abilities and reestablishing a sense of self-worth. A powerful generator of the frequency of increase, this lovely talisman may be utilized to manifest abundance in all areas of one’s life: wealth, health, happiness and love. 

Our collection can be viewed online or in the shop in Burlington Arcade

RUBY – JULY BIRTHSTONE

The ruby, arguably the most famous of red coloured stones, is the birthstone gemstone for July. Representing health and wisdom the ruby comes from the corundum mineral species. It is the hardest of natural gems aside from the diamond. It is durable enough for daily wear and matches any fashionable outfit with its deep and vivid red colour. Rubies are believed to guarantee wealth, success, love and more. Whether used for the purposes of technology or jewellery, the ruby may be one of the most important precious gems and birthstones we know.

An Early 20th Century Burma ruby and diamond cluster ring, with a central, cushion cut ruby weighing an estimated 1.65ct, within a cluster of ten millegrain set old-cut diamonds, weighing an estimated total of 1.20ct, with and alternating ruby border, mounted in platinum. Together with a Gemmological Certification Report stating the ruby origin as Burma with no indications of heat treatment S18117R £25,000

A ruby and diamond three stone ring, set with a central round Burma ruby, weighing approximately 1.93ct, with no indication of heating, with round old-cut diamonds either side, with a total weight of 1.61ct, in shared and end claws, with diamond set shoulders, each set with six round brilliant-cut diamonds, with a total weight of 0.16ct, in grain settings, mounted in platinum. S12418R £29,000

A vintage Burma ruby and diamond feather brooch set with 15 faceted pear shape rubies, with a total weight of approximately 9.50ct, with 13, marquise and 21, round brilliant-cut diamonds, mounted in platinum. Largest ruby 6.7 x 4.1 x 3.4mm smallest 5 x 3 x 2.1mm. Burma rubies. No indications of heat treatment. Circa 1950. S201117B £12,000

An Art Deco ruby and diamond bracelet, with alternating square plaques set with groups of four square-cut rubies, in an openwork mount, with old-cut diamonds set in each corner and old-cut diamonds in an openwork mount, with millegrain edges, mounted in platinum, circa 1930. S28917T £19,000

A pair of ruby and diamond drop earrings, set with round brilliant-cut diamonds, with two at the top, weighing a total of 0.68ct, the drop is set with a total of 0.90ct, with two, hexagonal, rubies, with a circle set with French-cut rubies, with a total ruby weight of 7.65ct, with millegrain edges, mounted in platinum. S241117E2 £30,000

Victorian red guilloché enamel snake bangle, the head is set with old-cut diamonds and rubies with red enamel set to the body and tail, with diamond detail to the three hinges BA-XM £30,000

A ruby and diamond pendant, set with a 3.18ct cushion-cut faceted mixed-cut ruby, with a round brilliant-cut diamond weighing 0.40cts of F colour, VVS clarity, mounted in 18ct white gold, with a 16″ 18ct yellow gold trace chain. Accompanied by The Gem & Pearl Laboratory certificate number 09851, stating that the ruby is natural, with no evidence of heat treatment S211114P £36,000

All items featured can be found on our website or at the shop address in Burlington Arcade, London

PEARL & MOONSTONE: BIRTHSTONES FOR JUNE

The birthstones for June are pearl and moonstone.

The most expensive and most unique pearls are natural pearls that were created in the wild. The finest and most beautiful pearls have a reflective lustre, making them appear creamy white with a rainbow-like sheen that casts many colourful hues. In many cultures, pearls are a symbol of innocence and purity, which explains why it is traditional for brides to wear white pearls on her wedding day. Pearls have been used as adornments for many centuries, as far back as ancient Greece where people believed pearls were the tears of the gods.

Moonstone has been used as a beautiful adornment and a powerful talisman since ancient civilisations. The Romans admired it, believing it was formed from moonbeams. Legend portrayed it as a sacred and magical “dream stone” that could bring beautiful dreams at night. Both the Romans and the Greeks associated moonstone with their lunar deities.The Roman Pliny wrote that moonstone’s shimmery appearance shifted with the phases of the moon—a belief that held until well after the sixteenth century. Hindu mythology also told that moonstone was made from the moon’s ethereal light.

 

An antique moonstone and pearl four leaf clover brooch-cum-pendant, with four heart shape moonstones, surrounded by natural half seed pearls, with a natural pearl in the centre, mounted in 14ct gold. engraved Mary Ellison June. 15 ’90. S1318B £2,500

A French Art Deco mother-of-pearl dress-set, mounted in gold, with natural central seed pearls, on mother-of-pearl, with surrounding white enamel, in a Lamarche Guy Fils box, with bar fittings. 1211CL2 £3,800

A moonstone and diamond cluster ring, set with 9.51ct of moonstones and 2.06ct of pavé set round brilliant-cut diamonds, mounted in 18ct white gold. S231115R £10,200

A Belle Epoque, natural pearl and diamond pendant, with a latticework and bow design, set with natural pearls and diamonds, set in the three bows, the connecting chain and in the junctions of the knife edge lattice, on a fine platinum trace chain, circa 1910. S7618P £8,950

A pair of South Sea pearl and diamond earrings, with central 18mm South Sea pearls, surrounded by rubies and diamonds, in a repeating pattern of three calibre cut rubies and a round brilliant-cut diamond, mounted in platinum, with a folding post and clip fitting. 21901E2 £14,000

A pearl and diamond plaque choker necklace, set with netted rows of seed pearls on wires to give a soft feel like fabric. The plaque is mounted in platinum, set with round brilliant-cut diamonds, with an estimated total diamond weight of 5.50ct. 16702N1 £12,000

A pair of antique, Faberge moonstone cufflinks, set with cushion shaped, silver moonstones, surrounded by rose-cut diamonds, in silver cut down settings, mounted in rose gold. By Workmaster Erik Kollin, signed and numbered, circa 1900. S29116CL £45,000

All examples shown are available on our website

www.moirafinejewellery.com

or at our outlet in Burlington Arcade, London

 

 

EMERALD: BIRTHSTONE FOR MAY

Emerald, the symbol of rebirth and the perfect colour for the month of May, carrying the rich green colour of Spring and radiating a beautiful vivid tone. They are considered to be a symbol of love and devotion. Emeralds are the rarest gemstones and are typically mined in Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan and Zambia.

Like many gemstones, emeralds have a multitude of meanings stemming from different cultures and beliefs. In mythology, emerald is the stone of the goddess Venus, resulting in the association of emeralds with romance.

Emeralds are said to bring passion, bliss, and unconditional love! Legend has it that wearing emeralds can give you the ability to foresee the future and see the truth. It has also been believed that emerald has the power to cure disease and protect against evil.

 

Cleopatra had a passion for emerald jewellery, as did Elizabeth Taylor, who acquired some legendary emeralds while filming Cleopatrain Rome (lover Richard Burton bought it for her at Bulgari).

 

 

Around the same time, glamorous first lady Jackie Kennedy wore an emerald and diamond engagement ring. An emerald engagement ring was also at the centre of the twentieth century’s most legendary love story, when in 1936 King Edward VIII of England proposed to his divorced American love Wallis Simpson with a nineteen carat emerald ring engraved with the message “We are ours now”.The ensuing scandal caused him to abdicate the throne, making the couple the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Today, Angelina Jolie may be emeralds’ most famous advocate. She frequently wears these gorgeous green stones on the red carpet.

Other very stylish Hollywood stars, including Halle Berry, Zoe Saldana, and Olivia Wilde wear gorgeous emerald engagement rings.

 

Our emerald collection is available to view at our address in Burlington Arcade where we look forward to welcoming you.

APRIL BIRTHSTONE: DIAMOND

Choosing the right cut of diamond can be tricky for many people. It is our hope that the information below will provide you with a basic understanding so that you can confidently move through the process. All items available to purchase.

The rose cut features a flat bottom with a dome-shaped crown, rising to a single apex. With anywhere from 3 to 24 facets, a rose cut diamond resembles the shape of a rose bud. The rose cut dates to the 1500s and remained common during the Georgian and Victorian eras.

 

 

 

Diamonds with this cut possess a squarish girdle with gently rounded corners. Old mine cut diamonds have a high crown, a small table, and a large, flat culet. They are similar to today’s cushion cut. The old mine cut dates to the 1700s and was most prevalent during the Georgian and Victorian eras.

The round brilliant cut diamond is the most popular shape of diamond. For hundreds of years, diamond cutters have been working with this cut to maximize its brilliance and fire. While this cut offers great flexibility within the four C’s, you will want to select higher quality grades to bring out the most brilliance within a round diamond.

Princess cut diamonds are exceptionally brilliant because of the way they are cut and are available in both square and rectangular shapes. The colour that is emitted from princess cut diamonds is very unique. While the color of other diamond is displayed mainly in the center, the princess cut diamonds show distinct colour in each of the corners as well.

A marquise cut diamond is a perfect shape for maximizing carat weight by emphasizing the size of the diamond. Its unique shape creates the effect of longer, more slender hands and fingers. The outline of a diamond is determined by its length to width ratio, which also provides an image of the shape and look of the diamond.

Sometimes called a pillow-cut diamond, the cushion cut is a timeless cut that has earned its name for its pillow shape. Cushion cut diamonds tend to have impeccable brilliance and clarity in their appearance which can be attributed to their rounded corners and larger facets. These diamonds are available in square and rectangular shapes.

 

Emerald cut diamonds have a unique optical appearance because of the rectangular facets step-cut into the diamond’s pavilion. This cut showcases the diamond’s original clarity beautifully because of its large rectangular table which will also make inclusions and color more apparent.

 

Perfect for those looking for a unique style, radiant cut diamonds feature uniquely trimmed corners which combines the lines of an emerald cut with the brilliance of a round diamond. The sparkle of this diamond cut looks beautiful when combined with a variety of other diamond cuts.

 

Combining round and marquise cuts, the teardrop style of pear shaped diamonds is exceptional. The slender pear shape will give fingers and hands a slimmer appearance while creating a soft and delicate look. Pear shaped diamonds are cut to produce maximum brilliance, so it’s important to look for excellent symmetry.

Oval cut diamonds have a classic appearance with a modern twist! It is a popular cut in all types of jewelry, especially in engagement rings, making it easy to match with other jewelry. It has an incredible brilliance, similar to the round brilliant cut, but also has the advantage of accentuating long, slender fingers

 

Asscher cut diamonds are often mistaken for an emerald cut because of its similar cut style; however an asscher is square rather than rectangular. Created in the early 1920s, the asscher cut has recently resurged in popularity, especially amongst celebrities.

 

All items in stock

MARCH BIRTHSTONE: AQUAMARINE

 

An aquamarine and diamond ring, set with a 2.59ct cushion shaped aquamarine, surrounded by grain set, round brilliant-cut diamonds, with four, round brilliant-cut diamonds set in each shoulder, with a total diamond weight of approximately 0.25ct, with millegrain edges, mounted in platinum £8,950

 

Aquamarine and diamond pendant, the oval cushion cut aquamarine weighing approximately 10.50ct, suspended from a collet set round brilliant cut diamond, and a diamond set bail, eight claw setting, mounted in 18ct white gold £8,800

The name aquamarine speaks for itself, meaning seawater. Aquamarine immediately brings to mind its stunning pastel sky blue or the bright colour of the sea.

A pair of aquamarine, sapphire and diamond earrings, mounted in platinum, set with long cushion-cut aquamarines, old-cut diamonds and calibré sapphires £19,500

 

An aquamarine and diamond pendant with a drop shape briollette-cut aquamarine, with a white gold cap, set with a rose-cut diamond, with millegrain decoration, suspended from a polygonal shaped diamond and a marquise-cut diamond, on a white gold trace chain with three marquise-cut diamonds either side of the pendant £14,000

For centuries, the aquamarine has been a symbol of youth, hope, health and fidelity. Since this gemstone is the colour of water and the sky, it is said to embody eternal life. It was long thought that aquamarine has a soothing influence on married couples, making it a good anniversary gift.

An aquamarine and diamond ring, set with an emerald-cut aquamarine, in an Art Deco mount, with a central rub over setting, and an eight-cut diamond set pavé surround, with millegrain edges, mounted in platinum. The approximate total diamond weight is 0.48ct £17,500

Aquamarines are found in a range of blues; from a pale pastel to a greenish-blue to a deep colour. Darker shades of blue are increasingly rare and in turn, make the value increase. Aquamarine is frequently a pastel gemstone but the colour can be more intense in larger gemstones, smaller aquamarines tend to be less vivid.