Sunday, March 13, 2011

More Glister than Gold? Exploring Scarlett O'Hara's Engagement Ring

"The ring Rhett brought back from England was large indeed, so large it embarrassed Scarlett to wear it.  She loved gaudy and expensive jewelry but she had an uneasy feeling that everyone was saying, with perfect truth, that this ring was vulgar.  The central stone was a four-carat diamond and, surrounding it, were a number of emeralds.  It reached to the knuckle of her finger and gave her hand the appearance of being weighted down.  Scarlett had a suspicion that Rhett had gone to great pains to have the ring made up and, for pure meanness, had ordered it made as ostentatious as possible."
--Gone with the Wind, Chapter XLVII

Did you ever wonder about the infamous engagement ring Rhett bought for his beloved? Being sure as we are that this topic did keep you up at night, we thought we'd round up a few period rings that could fit the description and let you be the judges. With a few exceptions, we tried to stay as close to the range 1860-1870 as possible. Word of warning, though:  not all of the rings we found fit the description color-wise (or gemstone-wise, for that matter), so, for the ones who don't, you will just have to use your imagination and picture them in the right color. 

So now it's time for you pick your favorite and let us know about it in the comments! Which number is the winner?

Ring 1
Image from
Date: 1860-1870
Stones: Old mine cut diamonds
Material: 18k gold with black enamel engraving
Carat Size: 2.5 carats total 
(0.75 carat center stone and 8 side stones of 0.15-0.35 carats each) 

Ring 2
Image from
Date: 1876
Place of Origin: Birmingham, England
Stones: Cushion cut diamond and garnets
Material: 18k gold
Carat Size: Approx. 2 carats total
(0.4 carat center diamond surrounded by 8 slightly smaller garnets)

Ring 3
Image from
Date: 1890-1900
Stones: Pear-shaped emerald and old mine cut diamonds
 Material: 14k gold
Carat size: 1.5 carats total
(0.75 carat center emerald and 15 diamonds of 0.5 carats each)

Ring 4
Image from
Date: 1865
Stones: Oval cut Burma ruby and old mine cut diamonds
Materials: 18k gold
Carat size: 4.5 carats total
(2.75 carat center ruby and 13 diamonds totaling 1.75 carats 

Ring 5
Image from
 Date: 1880
Stones: Emerald and diamonds
Material: 18k gold
Carat size: Unknown

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