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Question for specialist: Inherited diamond rings ca 16-18 Century


I am completely lost. My mom was a somewhat famous European model and passed a few years ago. I took her jewlery with me to the U.S. (I’m originally from Germany) to sell them for my dad.
However, I haven’t been able to find ANY appraiser that is knowledgeable enough to give me concert info on the rings.
I don’t really wear jewlery, thus I’m a complete amateur.
Couldn’t find any help in Seattle therefore flew to Los Angels to try my luck. I finally met one antique jewlery dealer in Beverly Hills and she offered me $10.000 for one of the rings. That made me a bit uncomfortable since she was just getting ready for a show. If she offered me this much within a few minutes maybe the ring is very special? Since all the rings are between 150-300 years old (that’s the only thing she told me) it seems impossible to find answers.
I would be really grateful if somebody could point me in the right direction.
I attached a few pictures of all the rings. Can you guess which one she immediately eagle eyed?
My mom most likely bough the rings in Paris, also in case it doesn’t show in the photos, the ring with the crown has a hand painted portrait of a lady in the middle (over glass) surrounded by diamonds.
Thanks again :slight_smile:
Thanks so much…


Hello, Julia!

My name is Dylan Tilley, owner of Zenith Gemology in the Southeast United States. I’d be happy to lend a hand.

You are looking for an appraisal, correct? In order to give you a proper appraisal, I would need to thoroughly inspect the pieces to identify and grade the stones, examine the craftsmanship of the jewelry, and make other observations that will help me to determine the value, and if possible, the origins of these pieces.

It is a fact that sometimes, jewelers do not include maker’s marks or other identifiers, and if the piece doesn’t employ any manufacture or design elements known to be unique to that jeweler, it is almost impossible to determine exactly who made it, HOWEVER, it is still absolutely possible to determine the value of these pieces, if that’s your goal.

Please contact me at my personal Email address below to discuss this in more detail.

You can also visit my website at


I am no expert but I have come into contact with some very old pieces since I have been in the jewelry industry, and it is very hard to find someone who knows about very old pieces. Honestly I think your rings are much much older than 150-200 years old. On the side of one of your rings it looks almost like a mermaid is holding up the diamond in the middle. The Greeks were known for incorporating mythical creatures like this in their jewelry and art. Also some of your diamonds seem to be rose cut as far as I can tell. Rose cut diamonds hit the scene in the 1500’s I believe. Now if your cuts are older (which it is hard to tell) They could be older. I know you can contact museums and pay for an appraisal for very old items. My advise would be to search for museum that deal specifically with ancient jewelry. If your rings don’t turn out to be ancient they should be able to at least give you an idea of the time period so you can go from there.


That’s very true. It would not be a job for your average jewelry store appraiser, as they often have ZERO training and honestly no business appraising even normal jewelry properly. A good museum appraiser would also need to have some training in the jewelry sciences to identify the manufacturing methods involved.

I have repeatedly seen ancient styled pieces that are made with modern methods, and they often get mistaken for authentic relics.

Great points about the rose cut stones and so forth, but I was cautious about making assumptions until I can see it in more detail in person or through photographs, and be certain about my findings. It’s a dangerous road for an appraiser to be willy-nilly about their first glance opinions. :smiley:

If it’s of use, one of my associates is also an archaeologist and anthropologist, so she could be very helpful in this case if Detrelucide is right about the age of these pieces.


You are correct about not making assumptions through photographs. I actually photograph jewelry for a living, and pictures are very very deceiving. I was simply making an observation in order to shed light on your questions. I am in no way a professional appraiser or have the credentials to back up claims. I get all of my information from books and research. :slight_smile:
Honestly if wiseman is able to introduce you to an archeologist who can help I would jump on the opportunity! My grandpa is an archeologist, and his life is filled with scheduled events. Their job is very demanding so being able to have the opportunity for one to look at your pieces is awesome! I hope everything works out for you! Let us know what happens! I live for this kinda stuff :wink:


Me too! This is very fascinating to me, and the reason for my switch from the retail jewelry business to appraisal and so forth.

Don’t belittle your research and book reading. That is extremely good, and there is no classroom that can “fully” prepare a person for everything they will encounter, but reading books and doing research is the closest you can get! Nobody should ever fall into a mindset of thinking they know everything.

It’s nice to meet you, by the way. I’m pretty new to this forum and I’ve already found someone with a good head on her shoulders. It bodes well for my future interactions here. :smiley:

I do hope Julia comes to talk to us more soon.