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This is a so-called memorial ring. From the mid 1700's till the early 1800's the well-to-do would predestinate a certain part of their financial legacy to have these memory-rings made, once they passed away. In their testament they would clearly stipulated who would get such ring. These rings were then worn by their heirs in memory of their beloved deceased.
On the outside of the shank (bottom part of ring) we can read in Gothic letters: "IN MEMORY OF", and on the inside the ring has been hand engraved with: "Mary Ann Edmonds, 06, 26 Jan, 1822 Oct 19 "
The outer text "IN MEMORY OF", is a generic text that is enameled, and the personalisation on the inside is hand engraved. From this we can conclude that rings like this could be choosen at the local jewelry store and only personalized (by hand engraving) after purchasing.
Antique jewelry object group: mourning ring
Condition: excellent condition
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Country of origin: Although it does not carry any legible control marks we believe this to be of British origin.
Style: Georgian (pre-Victorian) or more info on styles
Period: ca. 1822
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Theme: Mourning jewels - At that time there was actually a jewel for every stage of the mourning period.
Material: 18K yellow gold
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Technique: Enamelling is an old and widely-adopted technology. The ancient Egyptians applied enamels to pottery and stone objects. The ancient Greeks, Celts, Russians, and Chinese also used enameling processes on metal objects. Enamel is the colorful result of fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing, usually between 750 and 850 degrees Celsius. The powder melts and flows and hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating on metal, glass or ceramic. According to some sources, the word enamel comes from the High German word smelzan (to smelt) via the Old French esmail. Used as a noun, "an enamel" is a usually small decorative object, coated with enamel coating, such as a champlevé or a cloisonné (different techniques).
Extra information: Mourning ring - A mourning ring is a finger ring worn in memory of someone who has died. It often bears the name and date of death of the person, and possibly an image of them, or a motto. They were usually paid for by the person commemorated, or their heirs, and often specified, along with the list of intended recipients, in wills. Any stone is usually in black, typically Jet stone. They were popular in Victorian times, and earlier; such as this example of a ring commemorating Jeremy Bentham. In many cases, there is a lock of hair of the deceased placed under the crystal stone. (from Wikipedia)
Mourning - Mourning is, in the simplest sense, synonymous with grief over the death of someone. The word is also used to describe a cultural complex of behaviours in which the bereaved participate or are expected to participate. Customs vary between different cultures and evolve over time, though many core behaviors remain constant.
Wearing dark, sombre clothes and jewelry is one practice followed in many countries, though other forms of dress are also seen. The colour of deepest mourning among medieval European queens was white rather than black.
There was special mourning jewelry, often made of jet and with the hair of the deceased in a locket or brooch. The wealthy could also wear cameos or lockets designed to hold a lock of the deceased's hair or some similar relic. (freely rendered from: Wikipedia)
Precious stones: One garnet 16 half seed pearls
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Birthstones: Garnet is the birthstone (or month stone) for January and pearl for June.
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Engraving: Mary Ann Edmonds, 06, 26 Jan, 1822 Oct 19
Hallmarks: No trace.
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Dimensions: top of ring 1,42 cm (0,56 inch) x 1,20 cm (0,47 inch)
Weight: 5.80 gram (3.73 dwt)
Ring size Continental: 58 & 18½ , Size US 8¼ , Size UK: Q
Resizing: This ring cannot be resized because of the way it is made, however with an inner ring we can adjust the size a bit (only smaller ofcourse)
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Reference Nº: 13301-0081
Copyright photography: Adin, fine antique jewelry
Jewelry with birthstones (or month stones) for:
January - February - March - April - May - June - July
August - September - October - November or December.
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