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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

HELP IDENTIFY THIS ORNATE VINTAGE CROSS


I had just listed the lovely vintage filigree cross with 6 garnets shown in the photo on the right in our Shop at Ruby Lane, when I received an email all the way from South Africa.

The writer was seeking my help in identifying a lovely gold cross (see photos below) that she was given by her grandfather over 24 years ago. He had had the cross made for her in Morocco but apart from that, she knows very little about the cross, including what the karat of the gold used is, and whether the beautiful center stone is a ruby, a garnet or just glass.

Oddly enough, she'd taken it to some local jewelers and none of them could agree on the value of the cross and its gemstone. One thought it was 24k gold; another said it was value-less. Personally, I find it rather incredible that a jeweler is unable to test for gold karat. Even we have a gold testing kit which we use to test all our gold, and we're not jewelers! As for checking the gemstone, well if they can't determine if it's a ruby, garnet or junk stone, then heaven help anyone buying jewelry from their shops!

But to the point. This lady was seeking my help but without being able to physically see and test the actual item, there is little I can do. I've posted all the photos she sent me below. As you can see, it's a gorgeous cross with lovely filigree work. To our eyes, that looks like a genuine ruby. As for markings on the piece, there is something stamped or inscribed on the back:

She said it looks like 75C but I think it's most likely a worn 750 which is the European symbol for 18k gold. Just above it, you can see .44. I have no idea what this might be. She says there is something that looks like a curvy B beside the .44 so you get B.44. Does this mean anything to anyone reading this? We'd really appreciate your responses/comments.

The other thing she'd like to know is if anyone can place this cross in a time frame, period, or style. Grandfather said he had it made it Morocco. Is all this ornate filigree work typical of any particular period or design style?

We really hope some reader out there will recognize this design and can shed some light on that mysterious B.44 marking. Also, if you have the expertise, does the stone in the photos below look like a ruby to you? We think it is but ... ?

Photo above shows a front view of the cross. Photo below is a back view. One thing I do know is I wish I owned it! Isn't it beautiful?!


Thanks for your help!

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