My great-grandmother, Annie, was a Gibson Girl. She and my great-grandfather met in the 1890s. She was tall, blonde, blue-eyed, wore her hair up, dressed impeccably, and in every photograph of her she was beautiful. My great-grandfather, William Cross, was a photographer, jeweler, and a master hand-engraver. He was excellent at each of these skills. In all her photographs, (and the family has dozens) she wore her hair up. It curled, swirled, and somehow her hair always managed to stay neatly, perfectly in place.
Great-grandfather William as a jeweler, made many hundreds of these Gibson Girl rings and remarkably we still have his archival collection of original masters. From William’s masters of Gibson Girl rings we’ve chosen to make one we consider to be the perfect size, perfect look, perfect balance.
Today’s revival of the Gibson Girl ring is made with a blue sapphire, ruby, emerald, diamond, or Maine tourmaline center gem, and two accent diamonds. The size, spacing, low-profile, comfortable, finger-hugging design make these rings eternal. The finishing touch design detail that made Gibson Girl rings such classics in the late 19th century was the hand-engraved curves and swirl patterns.
We have revived this style ring from one-hundred years ago and I believe that of the forty-plus years I’ve run Cross this is the prettiest, most desirable ring we’ve ever made. –RHP
Sisters (Ann Cross, Gibson Girl, center) Pictured on a farm in Damariscotta, Maine on the lake, 1892
The Gibson Girl Ring
and a “Friendly” Ghost Story
Halloween has passed, but indulge us in kind of ghost story… Don’t be frightened; it might not be what you would expect from a ghost story. Ghosts at their core are lingering spirits and ideas, too strong to pass on to the next. Memories. That strong feeling of connection you can’t explain…that which endures.
My great-great grandfather, William, was a Renaissance man. In whatever he tried, he attained master-level skills. He met my great-great grandmother, Annie, in the 1890s, as he was starting to make jewelry. Annie was a sophisticated woman, tall and slender, and every photo of her is breathtaking. Annie was a Gibson girl. She wore her hair piled on top of her head, elegantly arranged and curled just so.
William must have been thinking of Annie when he created this ring, which we’ve revived and named the Gibson Girl ring in Annie’s honor. In the 1890s, each ring, of which he made hundreds, was hand-engraved. A popular style of the day. Three stones set low, surrounded by swirling engraved patterns, make for a very balanced ring. Feminine and bold; contemporary and traditional; the Gibson Girl ring evoked the spirit of the real-life Gibson Girl William married.
William Cross, Linwood Cross, Ann Cross, 1903
William died in 1931, his wife and son continued his work and the store he started in 1908, Cross Jewelers, has remained in his family to this day. William’s influence still floats through the showcases, in the many designs he originated and which have been adapted or revived. His prolific work and eye for design have meant that thousands of homes across the country own his designs. His work has stood for generations.
The Gibson Girl ring, in particular, is a testament to William’s enduring influence. His continued presence. It’s not easy to have a legacy that lives on for so long after one is gone, but for all the people who have owned a Gibson Girl ring since it was designed, the original labor of love, in designing the hand-engraved patterns and setting exquisite stones, creating something so beautiful that has brought joy to so many people, shows his lasting presence in what we do. In that sense, the Gibson Girl ring is our kind of ghost story, as William’s artistry lives on in each design. ECP (5th Generation of Cross Family)
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