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Art Deco 18ct Gold, Platinum, Rose Diamond & Synthetic Sapphire Crested Intaglio Ring

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An impressive signet ring that was made in the 1920s in America. It is set with a synthetic sapphire.

The history of the synthetic gemstone is interesting. In 1873 Auguste Verneuil, who was based at the Museum of Natural History in Paris, began to work to synthesize corundum. In 1876, after many experiments, ruby synthesis was understood and repeatable although it was not understood how sapphire, called, “bug juice” synthesis took place. The blue corundum colour that was created was not a fine blue colour and the process could not be repeated.

In 1886, Verneuil, a gem expert and Fremy worked together with Jannettez while they were still at the Paris Museum of Natural History. Verneuil came to realize that fusing powdered alumina and chromium with the oxygen hydrogen torch made synthetic corundum.

At some point between 1886 and 1892, Verneuil discovered flame fusion. Later he realized that using different elements would create other synthetic gemstones such as synthetic ruby.

In 1909, Vernueil realized that synthetic sapphires could be created with the addition of iron and titanium and in 1911, he and his employer, the Heller Company, were given two patents for this discovery.

So this was a revolution in the gem industry and many pieces of jewellery made after 1909 and well into the 1920s and later were often set with a mixture of synthetic and natural stones. It was acceptable and was often used to get the right colour match.

In signet rings such as this example the synthetic stone has been beautifully cut with an intaglio of a crest.

Written by Olly Gerrish


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Date & Origin


Very Good




GoldPlatinum Diamond


Unmarked, tested to 18ct & platinum


Top section ⅝ in / 1.6 cm by ⅝ in / 1.6 cm

Item Number


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