antique Peranakan jewellery
antique Peranakan jewellery

Vintage Ruby and Diamond Cluster Ring, Peranakan Jewellery

20k Peranakan ruby ring set in a cluster of diamonds.

The rubies are a fine red-pink, which is why they are brilliant even when small. The old cut diamonds are also very white and fiery.

One revealing design of Peranakan jewellery is the evident space amongst the gemstones, at times even for very small stones, like in this ring. This is to allow each gem to be bezel set and then each bezel to be placed at different heights.

The outcome is a very well dimensioned shape, where small stones often appear ‘singled out’ and their colours more vivid by the goldwork of the bezels. Imagine each bezel raised like a tulip cupping the stone and you can see the design rationale.

In fact the diamonds are set in a shared bezel, raised like ‘stalks’ from a very simple flat gold band. It is amazing how the ‘stalks’ are arranged in ascending height. Tedious design in minutiae is lost in jewellery design today, especially in small items like rings.

This design is small, under 1cm tall, yet its antiquity has a presence. Likely to date to mid-century or earlier.

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