Renowned for its selection of antique jewelry as well as for its contemporary creations, for nearly 70 years, the Harcaut family jewelry store, expert in antique rings, has been an unavoidable Bayonnais brand.
The history of the Harcaut jewelry begins in 1952, date on which Louis Harcaut, a jeweler as gifted as visionary, inaugurates (rue du Port Neuf) a workshop practicing lost wax casting. His mastery of this little practiced technique leads him to collaborate with the main jewelers of the region. Let us explain in passing that this millenary method allows to cast pieces in one piece (without welding) with great precision. At the same time, Louis Harcaut runs with his wife a store in the rue du Port-de-Castets, a place that serves as a showcase for his creations.
The success is there, the fame of the sign develops quickly and even exceeds the banks of the Adour river.
In 1990, his son Alain Harcaut took over the family business and was himself joined in 2004 by his son Olivier, the current manager of the jewelry store. Raised in the seraglio, Olivier knows well the universe of the jewel. His training in jewelry at the Le Vigean school near Bordeaux contributes to modernize the know-how of the workshop and the boutique.
Today, the Harcaut jewelry is an institution. Located since 2011 at 13 rue de la Salie (formerly the Cafés Ramuntxo) in a solid and beautiful half-timbered house dating from the XVIIᵉ century, leaning against the former ramparts of the city of Bayonne, it still cultivates the same sense of excellence and now also offers its services in Saint Jean de Luz.
As you know, we are experts in antique jewelry, watches and antiques in general. First of all, when buying or selling a piece of jewelry, we advise our clients and inform them about the authenticity and other details of the product they want to sell or buy.
But you don’t always have a professional on hand to do this research at all times and this is where the buyer can find himself with many doubts when it comes to acquiring this jewel that he thinks he has a lot of history behind him. You may therefore be deceived, and in reality the jewel we bought is nothing more than a fake imitation that we obtained at a much higher price than what it is really worth, and therefore we did not acquire the historical value of the jewel.
Chic, classy and above all timeless, the antique ring is the ideal jewel to offer as a gift to a loved one or to give to oneself. Sometimes in silver, but often in gold and set with precious stones, the antique ring is perfect as an engagement ring. Gold jewelry ages well and stands the test of time without losing value. They are therefore a good investment for anyone wishing to leave a legacy to their descendants.
Just like recent jewelry, antique rings come in different styles, and may have some peculiarities, depending on the time it was created.
Silver jewelry is ribbed. This metal is appreciated for its brightness, its luminosity, and especially its affordable price compared to gold. However, this metal is much softer than gold and will more easily keep marks of blows and scratches. The texture of a silver ring wears out over time, because rings, especially wedding rings and engagement rings, are often worn daily and are subject to a lot of pressure and shock. All this to say that for an antique ring, it is better to turn to gold.
Gold has always been synonymous with elegance and refinement! A gold ring will bring a glamorous and refined look to any outfit. But beyond its elegant side, gold jewelry is also appreciated for its high resistance. Of all precious metals, gold is the most robust. It withstands all tests and unlike others, it does not lose its beauty, even after many years. An old gold ring will be just as beautiful as a new one.
Gold is rustproof. It does not lose its luster over time, nor does it rust, even if the ring is worn daily. The other advantage of gold is that it is available in different shades. In addition to yellow gold, there is also red, green, white and white gold. No matter what the shade, gold will always have that nobility that other metals do not bring.
Gold is available in different tones. Each one has its own particularities. Regardless of the color of gold, there is one thing you need to know: the number of carats. It determines the quality level of the gold ring. The gold chosen for the antique ring can be 9 carats or 18 carats. A gold of 9 carats is said to be a 350/1000th gold, which means that it contains 35% gold. An 18 carat gold is a 750/1000th gold. The jewel thus contains 75% pure gold. On our site, you will find only antique rings in 18 carat gold.
All colors of gold are equal, there is no color more expensive than another. It is always the carat that determines the value of a jewel. So white gold, yellow gold or pink gold? Which color to choose for a woman? It all depends on the woman’s taste. The ideal would be to choose a gold that will be in perfect harmony with the color she usually wears. If she already wears a white gold or silver bracelet, a white gold or rhodium-plated white gold ring will do the trick. If she already has buckles, pendants in yellow gold, a ring made of the same material will complete her jewelry without cutting.
Yellow gold is most commonly used for the manufacture of antique rings. The main interest of yellow gold is that it is very solid. It does not scratch, and never loses its color. The yellow gold ring keeps its original color even if it is worn daily and exposed to weather and other types of aggression. If you have matt skin, yellow gold is to be preferred. It enhances dark and tanned skin tones by illuminating them with a solar tint.
White gold is composed of 75% pure yellow gold and silver, copper and/or palladium for the remainder. White gold, is not so grey once shaped. Its steel hue is obtained after a plunge in a rhodium bath. It is for this reason that white gold is often called rhodium-plated gold, but it should be noted that the effect of this rhodium plating is not eternal. Approximately every 5 years, it is necessary to renew the process with the jeweler, in order to give back all its brilliance to the ring.
Rose gold is composed of pure gold, i.e. yellow gold, copper and silver. This alloy gives it great rigidity. The pink gold owes its color to the presence of copper. Contrary to what some may think, it is not less or more expensive than pure gold. The price is about the same. When it comes to gold, it is always the carat that determines the real value of a jewel.
Green gold contains at least 75% gold and 25% silver. Green gold occurs naturally in nature and is called electrum. The natural electrum deposit is currently located in Western Anatolia. It is also possible to obtain green gold by means of a chemical alloy. Whether it is of natural origin or of chemical composition, it will always have that particular color that tugs at green.
Some models of antique rings marry three variations of gold: usually white, yellow and pink. The most common model is the three-ring ring with one ring of each color. Sometimes each ring is independent. This assembly is really symbolic, depending on the circumstances, each ring can represent passion, friendship and fidelity or yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Some rings are made of two golds, a mixture of yellow and white gold or yellow and pink gold. Rings for women are mostly made of this mixture, but there are also wedding rings for men that combine white and yellow gold beautifully.
At first glance, the platinum ring and the white gold ring may look alike. However, a closer look reveals that the platinum jewelry tends more towards grey. Platinum does not contain gold, it is a rare metal, often used pure, without other alloys. This is why it is more expensive than gold.
The antique rings are numerous and answer to all styles. Some can be very simple, while others will be more elaborate. Some will be set with diamonds and other gemstones while others will be simple.
For the big day, it is always preferable to choose a gold wedding ring, although some silver models are of very good quality. Gold keeps its purity over the years. For the man, a classic model of great sobriety can do the trick. On the other hand, for women, morals are changing and nowadays, trends are moving towards more original and more elaborate models. Diamond wedding rings can either be set with a stone in a “half turn”, i.e. on one half of the ring only, or in a “full turn”. Diamonds can also have a “brilliant” shape, which is the most common form, with diamonds in a rounded shape. The wedding ring can also be a “princess” shape with square diamonds.
Antique rings can also have a diamond surround. The ring is decorated with a central gemstone that is surrounded by small diamonds. This diamond surround enhances the ruby, sapphire or emerald chosen as the main stone of the ring. Each stone captures the light, providing a sparkling finish to the entire ring.
A ring with a diamond surround is perfect as an engagement ring. Smaller stones give the illusion that the center stone that adorns the ring is larger. This makes the ring more glamorous and more pleasing to the eye than a solitaire.
The design of the ring with diamond surround varies depending on the manufacturer. The most common setting is the flower shape. The stones are assembled to form a small flower.
The old rush ring is the simplest of the rings. It is a ring with an identical thickness on all its diameter. This jewel, sober and refined, is suitable for those who do not like ostentatious and flashy rings. Timeless and timeless, this ring suits all styles and can be worn by women as well as men.
The rush ring can be in yellow, white or pink gold. Sometimes, it can be composed of three different rings, each representing a different color of gold. It can also, especially for wedding rings, be set with diamonds. The diamond is usually small in size to always keep that light and discreet note that characterizes the ring.
The ancient solitaire ring is the engagement ring par excellence. It symbolizes fidelity and eternal love. It is often adorned with a diamond, a stone of great robustness, symbolizing the invincibility of love in the face of the trials of time.
This ring is distinguished by its sober but elegant side. The main asset of the solitaire is that it is very resistant. It does not break easily and withstands the various shocks of everyday life. The solitaire can also be a simple fashion accessory. It can enhance any woman’s finger. The choice is vast both in terms of size and shape of the stone.
The expression you and me is used to indicate a duo of stones or pearls that adorn a simple ring. This antique ring is composed of a ring that is surmounted by a bezel capable of holding two ornaments.
This ring is the “feeling” jewel par excellence. It was made famous by Napoleon who gave one to Josephine de Beauharnais as an engagement ring. This ring can thus be an engagement ring because it characterizes a shared love. It usually consists of a diamond, symbol of purity and eternity, and another precious stone, an emerald, sapphire or ruby. Sometimes the ornament can also be a pearl.
Some antique rings can be adorned with precious or semi-precious stones. Each stone has its own particular meaning. The choice thus depends on the symbolic value that the jewel is supposed to represent.
Diamond is a gemstone based on pure crystallized carbon. Of all the gemstones available on the market, diamond is the hardest and most brilliant. It is renowned for its strength and brilliance. The other technical characteristic of diamond is that it has a strong thermal conduction potential. This is why the industry uses it as a cutting tool. Because of its solidity, diamond does not scratch. If it is of first quality, it can even scratch other stones.
Although diamond is a rare and precious stone, it can sometimes seem quite common. To stand out, there is another alternative: emerald. This gemstone of the beryl family is distinguished by its green color with shades ranging from light green to deep green. Each gemstone can have a small blue hue, making it perfectly unique. This stone has always been coveted as a reference to nature and fertility. It was Cleopatra’s favorite. The emerald also symbolizes successful love. It is the ideal gem for strong and mature women who know their value and place.
Ruby is another rather rare gemstone, perfect for special occasion rings. This red colored stone is a member of the corundum family, just like sapphire. The particularity of ruby is that it can have different shades of red, ranging from light to dark. The noblest, and also the most expensive, is that which has an intense color, neither too light nor too dark. This particular color gives depth to the stone, making it lively under the light. Thus, depending on the exposure of the angle of observation, the stone, which is dichroic, may have a different color.
Ruby is a gemstone of great symbolic value. It characterizes divine love, charity and represents happiness. Stone of fire, it is also associated with courage and loyalty. This is why it adorns most royal jewels. Many say that ruby also has the power to calm anger and protect the wearer from seduction.
These and other characteristics of antique jewelry help us to know their authenticity at first glance so we don’t get the wrong idea. Nevertheless, the most advisable is to entrust them to an expert before completing the purchase, which is highly recommended!
Rings are not chosen at random. They must correspond to your personality and above all be adapted to the finger where they will be placed.
The left ring finger is often reserved for engagement rings and wedding rings. If you are not married or engaged, you can wear solitaire and rings on the right ring finger. Once the wedding ceremony is completed, it is also possible to transfer the engagement ring to the right ring finger.
The middle finger is the thinnest and longest finger of the hand. It is the first finger you notice. It can be worn on any type of ring, from the most ostentatious to the most discreet. The ideal would be to choose a ring that best reflects your personality and taste. It is also possible to wear rings on the thumb and index finger. However, as these fingers are very much in demand on a daily basis, it is better to wear only simple rings without stones.
A ring must be perfectly adapted to the finger where it will be placed. It is therefore important to know the size of your finger, but how to do? There are rings to print on the internet. Simply place a ring inside the circle and if the diameters coincide, the ring is the right size.
It is also possible to measure the inside of your finger and refer to the corresponding size. Each turn of the finger corresponds to a specific size. In order to avoid unpleasant surprises, it is preferable to take the measurements at the end of the day or when the temperature is at its highest. At these times, the fingers are more swollen than usual.