Five Go-oooold Riiiiiings…

“On the fifth day of Christmas this great blog gave to me: five gold rings…”

Christmas itself may be over, but Tiding of Magpies has one last bit of seasonal sparkle for you. So if your stomachs are full after the festivities, feast your eyes instead on these gorgeous, gold specimens…

Lovely Lapis

My new fave stone is front and centre in this statement piece. Crafted between 1908 and 1917 in Russia, it’s meant to be a men’s ring, but I think I could pull it off… Lapis lazuli was popular with Fabergé during this period as well, because it turns out it’s mined in Siberia – I had no idea!

Go big or go home

The largest gold ring in the world, the Najmat Taiba (Star of Taiba), was made in 2000 for a fairly reasonable $547,000 but is now worth around $3 million. Not too shabby, for an investment that might have seemed a bit pointless at the time!

The ring weighs nearly 64kg, is 21 carats, and took 55 workers 45 days to finish it. As well as the vast amount of gold, you can also see some whopping Swarovski stones adorning the ring; 5.1kg of stones were used in total, made up of 615 individual precious stones.

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Source: Ashok Varma via emirates247.com

Peas in a pod or corn on the cob?

I can’t decide what this gorgeous ring is exactly supposed to be, but it’s one of the most beautiful examples of Arts and Crafts jewellery I’ve seen. I’m a sucker for pearls being used in unexpected settings and styles, and this setting of three freshwater pearls from the Mississippi River is right up my street.

Made of 14 carat gold, this ring is unusual in the early 20th century Arts and Crafts movement, whose designers tended to favour silver.

Gorgeous Georgian

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Source: timelineauctions.com

The unusual stone choice in this Georgian ring caught my eye while I was researching this blog – the central amethyst is flanked by one white and one extremely rare blue diamond. The auction site where I found it suggests the jewellery didn’t realise the blue diamond was a diamond, and that it was perhaps passed onto them in a selection of salvage stones, since the cutting style pre-dates the ring itself.

I always love thinking about pieces that tell a story, and who knows where the stones in this ring came from originally, or why the jewellery chose them for this piece? The ring itself has a story to tell, too: it’s engraved with the ‘Ann Colinnbell Feb 1757 an. 60’ – perhaps it was once a love token? Speaking of love tokens…

Gold love-knot ring, Tiding of Magpies

Couldn’t resist… The last of my five gold rings is my own design, which has a story of its own: I originally designed this gold love-knot ring to wear at my own wedding.

Lovingly handcrafted from 0.8mm 9 carat yellow gold, it forms a delicate, infinite knot around the finger of the wearer. The love knot is an age-old symbol of everlasting love, and this ring is a modern take on that ancient tradition, which makes it the perfect love token for your favourite human.

So, those are my five, chosen-at-random, gold rings for the winding-up of the festive period. Let me know your favourites in the comments, or any you’d have liked me to include!

Sources

http://www.businessinsider.com/worlds-largest-gold-ring-taiba-dubai-2011-05?IR=T

http://romanovrussia.com/antique/art-nouveau-russian-mens-ring/

https://www.timelineauctions.com/lot/georgian-gold-inscribed-ring-with-rare-blue-diamond/31538/

Bonus post: #treetour

To say thank you for making this year running Tiding of Magpies absolutely amazing, I thought I’d treat you all to a bonus mini-blog with a festive theme. The Goblin and I spent last night making our own Christmas crackers while drinking port, so I’m very much filled with Christmas cheer (and booze; we’ve just made some mulled wine…)

 

Because it’s our first Christmas as husband and wife (and because we used our annual leave up on the honeymoon and don’t have time to travel to our families!), we’re spending it quietly in our flat, which we’ve gone all-out on decorating.

From a quick scroll through Insta/Twitter/etc, it doesn’t seem like tree tours are much of  a thing, so I’ve decided to make them a thing. I absolutely adore Christmas trees; they tell you so much about the people who decorated them. Some are beautiful works of art and some, like ours, are just collections of ornaments that I flung at the tree. I love them all.

 

Lots of our ornaments are holiday souvenirs or were gifts from family and friends, so they mean a lot to us and tell the story of the last few years…

Honeymoon highlights

We picked up three new ornaments as honeymoon souvenirs, and they have pride of place on our tree:

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A traditional Kazakh hat, bought in Almaty
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A delicate glass bauble from Bukhara, Uzbekistan
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A good luck charm given to us by a lovely woman in the Khiva Museum of Musical Instruments (after she asked if I was pregnant, which I’m telling myself was just because of the empire-line wrap dress I was wearing…

Glittery gifts

Friends and family, knowing how much I love sparkly things, have also provided many trinkets for our tree over the years.

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A gift from my friend Sami, bought at the Leeds Christmas Market. The picture doesn’t do justice to its sparkliness!
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A gold glass pineapple from my grandma (who also contributed the excellent pineapple candle holders and lamp we own!)
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Probably my favourite ornament, courtesy of our wonderful friend Bella & the National Museum of Scotland gift shop
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The Christmas season is awash with puns about the second part of our name, so my best pal & bridesmaid, Beth, made it official with a bauble from Kikki K

Assorted oddities

The tree also shares several non-holiday or gift-related memories…

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A find from when I was working with the University of Birmingham and the RSC (also sort of relevant to the census bit of the nativity…maybe?)
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A plush find from the BL’s History of Magic Harry Potter exhibition

 

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A dog we’re calling a Wire Fox Terrier (the type of dog it’s our life goal to own!) from Brum’s very own Christmas Market
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The full tree ft. The Goblin’s presents, which I decorated for him.

Meanwhile, in the rest of the flat… 

 

That’s all for now, folks. Merry Christmas (or happy time-off-work if you don’t celebrate it!). I’ll leave you with this exceptionally great candle my grandma got us for Christmas this year…