In  the romantic era of the 1750s to the early 1900s, some the most admired  jewellery items to both give and receive, were gem set pieces designed  to spell sentimental words such as “Regard” and “Dearest”.

These words were acronyms, spelled using the first letter of each  gemstone, for example, “REGARD” was spelled using an R for ruby, E for  emerald, G for garnet, A for amethyst, R for ruby again and  D for diamond. The word DEAREST was illustrated by using a D for  diamond, E for emerald, A  for amethyst, R for ruby, E for emerald, S  for sapphire and  T for tourmaline.

These love sentiments were incorporated into various items of jewellery including rings, brooches and lockets.

The Late Georgian “REGARD” ring pictured below is a very interesting  example, as it is richly layered in metaphor. The floral posy design  with the word “REGARD" spelled out in gems is held by clasped hands  which  is a motif borrowed from the traditional Irish Claddagh ring. The  brooch, more simply, has the word “REGARD” embossed decoratively on its  face and hides a small locket in the back, perfect for a lock of hair  or a hand painted portrait.

-Ronnie Bauer