The impeccable provenance of this opal and diamond ring is just one of its many attributes. Designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany around the turn of the last century, the elegant ring features a fine black opal weighing approximately 2.20 carats. Echoes of the dominant blues and greens of the opal are found in the delicate enamel work that forms part of the 18k gold frame. The ring is further enhanced by eight old European diamonds. Though their total weight is just 0.40 carat, they offer the perfect complement to the rich tones of the opal. The ring is signed “Tiffany & Co.”, and is stamped 18k with a maker’s mark and an identifying number.
Though Louis Comfort Tiffany’s jewelry output was small in comparison with his much better known stained glass lamps, they share an aesthetic. In the case of this ring, the color palette and the shifting tones inherent in opal are strikingly similar to the lamps. The ring is a quintessential work of the Art Nouveau period, with its soft, feminine lines, and a focus on color and form rather than intrinsically valuable materials. Tiffany referred to his work in this medium as “art jewelry.”