Similar ring illustrated in Sylvie Raulet, Art Deco Jewelry, p. 259.
"The point of jewelry isn't to make a woman look rich but to adorn her" observed Mademoiselle Coco Chanel explaining that jewelry shouldn't provoke envy but intrigue. During the 1920's, Chanel's faux jewels were "devoid of arrogance in an epoch of too easy luxe." In the 1930's, when times were hard, she promoted precious gems because "they had the greatest value in the smallest volume and answered a hunger for authenticity and value."
Designing both costume and fine jewels, Chanel intended her pieces to be worn everyday and for every occasion. An elegant woman was to wear her jewelry not only to the opera but also to the beach. She loved to mix costume jewelry with precious jewels, wearing fake stones and diamonds with tweeds and semiprecious stones with a little black dress. Her bold theatrical jewels were in contrast to the simplicity of line in her clothing.
Drawing inspiration from the jewelry given to her by her many suitors, Chanel became inspired by the rich Indian emeralds, rubies and sapphires that were given to her by the Duke of Westminster. This wonderful cabochon emerald and ruby ring, utilizing her signature color combination of red and green, draws from the rich colors of such jewels she received. Often turning to the creativity of other artists, Chanel worked closely with Fulco di Verdura until 1934 whose style was distinguished by his exuberance for color and bold designs. The vibrant use of color and unique design of this ring echoes the love of unrestrained jewelry they both shared.
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