Enquiry about object: 8704

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    Indian Gold Gem-Set Navaratna Ring

    circa 1860

    weight: 11.46g, ring size: 8 (US), O (UK)



    UK art market

    – scroll down to see further images –

    This beautiful ring is of gold and is set with the nine nava-ratna cabochon gems (eight gems around a central ruby, which is the ninth gem). In turn these are surrounded by 14 ruby cabochons. Each stone has been foiled backed.

    The shoulders of the ring are engraved with leaf and floral scrolling.

    Untracht (1997, p. 309) says that in Dravidian south India, the nava-ratna gemstones are used as a rosary but elsewhere in India, they are used as a talismanic device. The nine gems have multiple meanings and associations. One is that each gem represents the nine celestial Hindu deities and the nine ‘planets’ .

    The ring is in excellent condition and is very wearable. Probably intended for a man it is now suitable for anyone to wear. It is a fine collector’s piece too.


    Aitken, M.E., When Gold Blossoms: Indian Jewelry from the Susan L. Beningson Collection, Asia Society & Philip Wilson Publishers, 2004.

    Bala Krishnan, U.R., Jewels of the Nizams, Department of Culture, Government of India, 2001.

    Barnard, N., Indian Jewellery, V&A Publishing, 2008.

    Chong, A, & N. Murai, Journeys East: Isabella Steward Gardner and Asia, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2009.

    Untracht, O., Traditional Jewelry of India, Thames & Hudson, 1997.

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