This is our ring echoing the reign of Elizabeth the First. You might call it a formal portrait of the Queen, in gems. The gem tourmaline at the center of course is the Queen. The collar of diamonds is the Elizabethan Ruff, also known as the Tudor Ruff of just Ruff. The development of starch helped ruffs hold their shape. Ruffs were worn by both men and women of the upper class. Ruffs were somewhat uncomfortable, by their very nature though seemed to improve posture but inhibited ease of eating just about anything. Ruffs did clearly delineate the upper from the lower class. The lower class simply couldn’t, wouldn’t, didn’t bother with the fashion of the ruff. They had neither the time to starch, press and prepare, nor the patience to eat soup or Kentucky Fried Chicken while wearing a ruff.
Most ruffs were white but ruffs were also colored during starching. Vegetable dyes were used to give the ruff a yellow, pink or mauve tint. A pale blue color could also be obtained via the use of a dye called smalt, although Elizabeth the First took against the color blue and issued a Royal Prerogative: “Her Majesty’s pleasure is that no blue starch shall be used or worn by any of her Majesty’s subjects, since blue was the color of the flag of Scotland…”
Yes, this ring is formal, but if you are a student of English history it could be the perfect addition to your collection. And regardless of class, it’s a cinch to have soup, a lobster in the shell, or Kentucky Fried Chicken while wearing the good Queen Bess Ring.
Maine Tourmaline, A Maine Story
An American Gem
First discovered in 1820 and in subsequent finds over the years, these early discoveries put Maine on the world map as a source for high-quality tourmaline gems. A major discovery in 1972 on Plumbago Mountain in Newry, Maine established Maine as a significant world source of fine tourmaline gemstones.
Cross recognized the historical significance of this find and began working closely with the miners of these magnificent gems. The close partnership continues today with the ongoing discoveries in Maine’s western mountains.
We go to Maine’s gem mines. We know the miners. We know the gem cutters. We guarantee our tourmaline to be from Maine and is 100% natural. Cross maintains the largest collection of fine Maine tourmaline jewelry in the world.
Window of Opportunity
Fifty years have passed since the major 1972 tourmaline find in Newry, Maine where they found 3.5 million carats of tourmaline crystals. Over the years we bought more than we sold knowing that gem finds don’t last forever. There are now colors, sizes, and shapes that are extremely rare and, in some cases, no longer available. If you see something you love it’s best to act quickly. There’s no guarantee another gem like this one exists.
Case in point: In 2007 there was a find of tourmaline in Newry, Maine called Eureka Blue. People loved the color. The gems sold quickly, but the find was small and the mining only lasted a few seasons. Within three years of the discovery, all the large Eureka gems had sold. We still get calls from people who are now ready to buy. What they want, however, simply no longer exists from that find in 2007.
Gem finds are rare, especially in North America. Maine tourmaline is a piece of Maine and American history, it’s a connection to a place we all love, an exquisite creation of nature. Today, there is a rare opportunity to own a bit of Maine/American pride and heritage, and history in choosing a piece of Maine tourmaline jewelry.
Orders Over $1,000 require a signature on delivery. You may choose free FedEx Overnight or US Post Office Express Mail.
Orders Under $1,000 no signature is required. You may choose FedEx 2-Day Service or US Post Office Priority Mail.
Rings that need to be sized take extra time (See our current sizing time). If ordering a ring, you may select, “No Sizing Yet, Ship Right Away”.
Curbside Pickup is also Available – please give us a call to place your order.
Orders Over $1,000 – Ship Free by your choice of FedEx Overnight or US Post Office Express. A signature is required on delivery.
Orders Under $1,000– Ship Free by your choice of 2-Day FedEx or US Post Office Priority Mail. No signature required.
We design, craft, and create really nice jewelry with amazing gems. Our guarantee, she’ll love your gift. If for any reason she doesn’t… you know you’ve got 30-days for a refund or exchange.