This is a vintage Art Deco 14K White Gold Old Cushion Cut Paste Solitare Ring Size 7. It has a 4 wide prong basket mounted early cushion cut solitaire paste stone in 14K white gold. It is marked 14K, tested and guaranteed solid 14K gold. The top holds a lovely, large, early European cushion cut paste stone that is the equivalent of a large 3 carat diamond. The paste is just under 10mm across. As you would expect the stone is very clear and clean. Every facet is crisp and visible. Very bright white. Oftentimes, these older paste rings were made as copies of the original owner’s diamond ring so the owner could wear the copy on a daily basis rather than their highly prized diamond. Many better jeweler’s offer the same service today when a large scale diamond is purchased. Ring size is 7. Weight is 3.8 grams. Condition is excellent. No chips or cracks or flakes or breaks. The mounting and the band are still thick and strong. Not worn down. This is a gorgeous ring for your vintage jewelry collection.
About Antique Paste Jewelry:
In the aristocratic classes of 17th century Europe, particularly the taste-making rococo Parisians, fine jewelry made of precious gemstones like diamonds and emeralds was flaunted and coveted. These stones were treasured for their beauty as much as their relative rarity. It was this rarity that prompted jewelers to find an equally beautiful, but less expensive, alternative for their creations.
In 1724, French jewel designer Georges Frédéric Strass came up with “paste,” a kind of leaded glass. He cut and polished it with metal powder until it appeared to shimmer like a diamond. These white “diamante” or “strass” were a hit with glamorous Parisian high society.
During the Victorian Era, non-precious pastes were part of a tasteful lady’s evening jewelry sets. They were also used in pieces intended to convey coded messages of romance, based on the colors of the pastes. Toward the end of the era, Austrian jeweler Daniel Swarovski introduced the first cut-glass crystals that successfully imitated the look of diamonds. While glass is not a rare material, the level of artistry and craftsmanship that went into his crystals made them appropriate for fine-jewelry settings of gold and sterling silver.
Swarovski crystals, which were made of high-lead-content glass and have a permanent foil backing, gave the illusion of almost any rare gem, including diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. In 1892, Swarovski patented a mechanical glass cutter so his crystals could be mass-produced to meet the high demand.