Kirsten's Corner

18K Gold Early Victorian Sapphire Ruby and Diamond Heart


Adorned with diamonds, rubies, and a stunning Ceylon sapphire, this 18k gold heart pendant is an incredible treasure from the Early Victorian era. Circa the 1850’s or 1860’s, the piece was crafted entirely from hand with painstaking attention to detail. In its center is a light periwinkle Ceylon sapphire. At 2.3 carats, the large oval stone makes a statement with its size and sparkle. Its watery hues of blue and purple glow with a prism-like shimmer, and the open-back of the pendant allows for light to shine through the stone. 

The sapphire is surrounded by a halo of Old Rose Cut diamonds, set in silver to offset the center stones. The diamonds vary in shape: they are well-matched and carefully hand selected to create the mosaic effect that makes this piece so special. A border of larger, natural rubies make up the next layer of the frame. The rubies are mix cut and well-saturated. (From the color intensity and age of the piece, they are most likely Burmese rubies.) Like the diamonds, the rubies vary in shape, each one skillfully chosen to compliment the shape of the heart. Finally, an outside border of Mine Cut diamonds completes the frame, with a large teardrop-shaped diamond at the bottom point of the pendant. 

The 18k gold setting creates a lace like effect that holds up the stones and emphasizes the depth of the piece. The repeating openings cut into the gold mirror the gemstone border, framing light and color from behind the pendant as the final layer of beauty. The pendant is suspended from a bail that contains a ruby and three diamonds. The ruby’s collet setting shows antiquity—as this setting was typical of Georgian and Early Victorian jewelry. 

The pendant is 1” across, 1 1/2” tall including the bail, and 1/2” thick. It weighs 7.2 grams. The gold acid tests as 18k, and as is typical for a piece of this age, contains no hallmarks. The Ceylon sapphire is 9.2 mm x 8.2 mm x 4 mm, and is 2.3 carats. 

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