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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

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Gimmel ring
(or gimmal ring)

A type of finger ring that is composed of 2 (sometimes 3) separate hoops linked together, having the same shank split lengthwise so that the hoops can be fitted together unnoticeably as one hoop. The bezel is also split so that when joined it forms one ornament; it is sometimes decorated with clasped hands or a heart-shaped faceted diamonds (cut in pendeloque form) or sometimes three pearls or paste gems.

There were many variations, including one having suspended from a large diamond a silver oval hoop in the centre of which was suspended another diamond; another variant had the three pendent stones separated from the upper stone by openwork silver.

The style (which was employed also for a brooch) was used in the 17th and 18th centuries. The precursor of such girandoles was the chandelier earring of Roman jewelry.

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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