Magnificent Fancy Yellow Diamond RingFebruary 18th, 2017 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG
This wonderful platinum ring with its magnificent 3 carat Fancy Yellow Diamond is now showing in our estate department. It was made by the firm of T.B. Starr, Inc. Our best guess of its age, based on the ring’s marks, style and construction, is that it was made in New York City, circa 1907-1920.
Theodore B. Starr was a famous American jeweler of the Victorian and Edwardian era. In his day, he was known as one of New York’s finest jewelers, rivaling Tiffany. His shop, Theodore B. Starr & Co, located in the busy heart of Manhattan at 206 Fifth Avenue catered to the rich and famous.
Upon his death in 1907, his son incorporated the business as T.B. Starr Inc, so we know from the marks on the ring that 1907 would be the earliest year this ring could have been made. The firm finally closed it doors in 1923.
The ring has been lovingly restored. We’ve replaced the original black onyx calibre (tiny rectangular cuts)- some were missing, others were broken- with natural blue sapphires because of the durability issues with the onyx. All the diamonds are original. Minor chips around the center diamond have been repaired, and the stone has been certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA ) as Fancy Yellow, natural color, VVS2.
This fancy yellow diamond follows modern cutting standards more closely than most diamonds of the period. As a result of proper geometry and correct angles, it is very brilliant compared to most Old European cuts. The stone is so bright, its brilliance overwhelms the golden color, so we’ve set the main diamond with a gold cup underneath to enhance the beautiful color.
The ring has elements of both the elegant Edwardian style and the bold Art Deco look– the elegant design is composed of swooping garlands leading the eye to focus on the center attraction. Sapphire and black onyx calibre accented many of the Art Deco jewels of the Roaring 20’s, but we think the ring was made somewhat earlier, prior to 1920.
Our Estate department is stocked with many beautiful items like this gorgeous ring. Estate jewelry is always a great value because it’s priced simply on content, and diamonds are priced at wholesale. The style and workmanship of these great pieces is always a pleasure to see. Stop by — you are welcome to browse. Mardon is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 – 5:30.