Dated circa the 1920s, the ring’s central stone is a 2.32ct elongated rectangular cushion shaped Burmese ruby which has a wonderful rich vibrant colour and is surrounded by a row of bright and lively old cut diamonds. Around that is a second openwork frame of similar diamonds with a delicate millegrain edging that has an open scroll and scalloped gallery with elegantly tapering shoulders also set with diamonds.
Guy Burton, Director, Hancocks London, explains: “This timeless, feminine and elegant ring is a beautiful combination of deep vibrant colour and wonderfully sparkling diamonds, the setting is kept to a minimum and the millegrain edges and grain setting help to lighten the appearance further meaning all attention is on the beauty of the gems. The elongated cushion shape is very flattering on the hand and the flat profile and style of setting make this a practical as well as beautiful ring.” Rubies mined in Burma have long been held as the absolute ideal in terms of colour for a ruby, they are an exceptionally beautiful rich deep red without much secondary colour such as brown or pink which are often seen in rubies from other localities. The term ‘pigeon’s blood’ has historically been used in an attempt to define this colour that is found in the best examples produced by this region.
The Mogok Valley in Upper Burma (now known as Myanmar) has been the world’s primary ruby source for centuries and the origins of the mines are swathed in mystery and legend. What is certain is that references to these gems have been found dating back to the Shan Dynasty in the 6th Century. The mines were taken over by the King of Burma in 1597 and all rubies over a certain size had to be given to him on discovery rather than sold. Today there are many different mines in the area both privately owned and government run. New deposits were found in the Mong Hsu area of the country in the 1990s and more recently a new source has been discovered in the northern region of Namya.