Romance and jewellery inevitably go hand in hand. Throughout our lives, glittering gems are used to celebrate significant events associated with love, writes Charles Hanson.
When I proposed to my wonderful wife Rebecca, I sourced a beautiful antique solitaire diamond crossover engagement ring.
It had to be special. It had to be right. And, of course, it had to be old, enriched by the passage of time. We both wear wedding bands too – a symbol of eternal love.
It’s believed the first examples of wedding rings were found in ancient Egypt. Relics dating back 6,000 years provide evidence of the exchange of braided rings of hemp or reeds between spouses.
The tradition of the ring is as strong today as it’s ever been. It’s a symbol of devotion, an agreement between two people to love and cherish one another for the rest of their days.
The circle has no beginning or end, it’s a symbol of infinity.It’s customary in the UK to wear a wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand. That’s because the vein in this finger was believed to lead directly to the wearer’s heart.
But jewellery’s link to love goes far beyond the exchange of rings. All types of jewellery – including bracelets, necklaces and ear-rings – are often given as gifts of love and treasured for generations. They’re passed down through families and often arrive at our saleroom complete with their original box.
Such was the case with a stunning Edwardian fringe necklace featuring October birthstones opal and tourmaline. It arrived at our door inside its elegant presentation case and you can’t help but wonder how its recipient must have felt when she lifted the lid to open it around 1901-1910.
It’s coming up for auction on Friday (Oct 25) with a guide price of £400-£600 in our Fine Jewellery. Watches and Silver sale. These events draw together a collection of the finest objects our jewellery experts have come across in recent months – many sourced from homes in Derby and Derbyshire.
Antique jewellery has much to shout about. It offers value for money when compared to new jewellery bought on the high street, plus you’ll often find gem stones of exceptional size and quality that you would struggle to source elsewhere.
Then there is the innate beauty and glamour of vintage and antique pieces. For example, our Friday sale includes a blue sapphire and diamond gold pendant necklace featuring an eye-catchingly large central oval sapphire. It boasts eight more oval, mixed-cut blue sapphires graduating down in size and numerous diamonds which are used to create flower-head clusters and spacers. It has an estimate of £2,500-£3,500.
Equally eye-catching is a garland-style sapphire and diamond pendant with an open work diamond set pendant with ravishing scroll and swag elements set with small diamonds. It comes in a C Cerk, Place de L’Opera, Paris, box. Estimate £8,000- £12,000.
If the ultimate engagement ring is on your mind, then a diamond halo cluster platinum ring awash with glittering gems may appeal. Estimate £10,000 to £12,000. My jewellery experts tell me that anyone looking to seal their love with a ring will find many fine examples to browse in this sale.
Away from romance, jewellery can be fun, too. Teddy lovers should adore a bear with a belly full of diamonds. A Chopard Happy Diamond teddy bear 18ct yellow gold pendant features an articulated bear with pave set diamond dickie bow, diamond set eyes and a glass-fronted tummy filled with three diamonds. Estimate £4,000-£5,000.
And what about the man in your life? Designer watches are very much in vogue and one to watch in our October 25 sale is a gent’s, circa 2006 gents 18ct gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Submariner wristwatch. Estimate £15,000-£18,000. If you’ve got something like that buried away unworn in a drawer at home, it may be a good time to part with it.
Join us at our auction
If some glittering fun appeals, you’re warmly invited to pop along to Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, to preview 350-plus items in our October 25 Fine Jewellery, Watches and Silver Auction on Tuesday October 22, noon-4pm, and Wednesday October 23, 11am-7pm – or join us on sale day.
If you have any jewellery or watches you are considering selling at auction, we offer free valuations at our Etwall HQ every Monday and Friday, 10am-4pm. Alternatively our head of jewellery Helen Smith will be happy to advise, email [email protected]. We are currently gathering items for our November and December general and Fine Art jewellery sales.