Antique Cluster Diamond Ring, Peranakan

Mid-century cluster diamond ring set with 1.3ctw brilliant cut diamonds in 20k.

This is a Straits Chinese ring, handcrafted in an evergreen Peranakan ‘aeroplane’ design for its semi-geometric similarity.

Such a setting has of course adopted the Victorian navette ring, adapting it into a more formal shape.
There are many, many permutations of the navette design in Straits Chinese rings, but it is not often we get one with uniformly fiery diamonds. The sparkles you see on the photos are almost unreal because while these are old brilliant cuts their brilliance is undeniable.
The ring is 2.6cm tall, a great navette length to wear comfortably all day. It is more distinct on the finger than you can ever imagine.
A little history on these types of rings, whole sole purpose was to showcase the splendour of diamonds and thereby the affluence of the wearer and her family. No Peranakan lady who didn’t hail from a grand family could be expected to own a diamond, let alone studded in a cluster.
Especially when you know similar rings were also supplied to ‘the rest of them’, except using more organic and hence affordable hand cut diamonds (as opposed to full cut diamonds like in this ring), and still even more affordable rings were set with glass stones. The latter was similar to paste jewellery in Victorian times, while the hand cut diamond version could be compared to early Victorian rose cut jewellery.
If you only knew how similar Straits Chinese and Victorian jewellery is 🙂 That’s for a long chapter back into history, specifically colonial England. Nevertheless, the beauty of jewellery produced in the colonies has a very distinct aura of a worship of gold and its headiness, soulfulness.

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