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Victorian Onyx and Natural Seed Pearl Sterling Silver Mourning Ring/ Circa 19th-20th Century

In Fine Jewelry > Mourning Jewelry > Show & Tell and Fine Jewelry > Rings > Show & Tell.
Mourning Jewelry47 of 113Victorian Mourning PendantVictorian Silver Hair Work Mourning pendant
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    Posted 6 years ago

    mikelv85
    (1145 items)

    I found this ring at Salvation Army this morning. I'll go out on a limb and say it's a real period Victorian mourning ring and not a reproduction. The band is marked "sterling" inside. The pearl in the middle is attached in the same manner as the antique rings I've seen online. I think drilling a hole and riviting glass might crack it. So this seems to be a real piece of onyx. They can also be made of "jet" (lignite- fossilized driftwood-coal). The stone is concave instead of being flat or a cabachon. It's mounted in the filigree sterling silver band with four flat prongs. There are bands of black and red enamel around the outside border. Most of the red has chipped away except for one or two areas. The black seems mostly intact. It was quite dirty when I bought it. Looked almost like dark brass. I took my polishing cloth and went over it lightly. I like patina on silver it highlights the design. At least now it looks like silver. It's a beautiful ring. -Mike-

    Love after Death: The Beautiful, Macabre World of Mourning Jewelry
    By Meredith Woerner

    For hundreds of years, people wore mourning jewelry to commemorate their dead loved ones. But what secrets about the past can you learn from these dark baubles made of diamonds, skeletons and bits of loved ones' hair.
    As far as materials go, black enamel is the hallmark of most mourning pieces. But different metals and gems have different meanings. Woerner elaborated that white enamel means the deceased was a woman who died unmarried and a virgin. Pearls would indicate tears and the loss of a child. Red enamel symbolizes of course love, but also blood, passion or anger.
    People started making memorial jewelry because there was no photography, and if your loved one died you wanted something as a touchstone to remember them every day. You could also get a painting made of your loved one, and later on there was a fad in "death photography" — but before photography came along, this was the main way that people remembered their departed loved ones.
    Different colors represented different stages of grief. If you were observing traditional Victorian public mourning time, the necklace or ring could incorporate various colors that would match the changing period of mourning. It was permissible to wear mourning jewelry with other jewels. However, if you were following the strict Victorian mourning procedure, mourning jewelry was the only type of jewelry allowed for the first two to three years of "deep mourning." The beautiful jewelry would change with the times, eventually incorporating pictures.
    The items would be worn by friends and family, by royalty. Queen Victoria, whose epic sadness over the loss of her husband, Prince Albert, popularized the tradition. And she wore her husband's morning ring for the rest of her life.

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    Early Victorian 18ct gold black ena...
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    Comments

    1. SEAN68 SEAN68, 6 years ago
      beautiful!!
    2. mikelv85 mikelv85, 6 years ago
      Thank you Sean :)
    3. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Mike Mike Mike!
      How do you do it???!!!!!!!

      Fantastic, and good investigation (again). I need lessons......
    4. mikelv85 mikelv85, 6 years ago
      I don't know Karen....it's kind of like a sixth sense. I have to just see or touch something and all the bells and alarms start ring in my head... of course that could just be my tinnitus...lol :)
    5. Rick55 Rick55, 6 years ago
      I love this Mike! I find mourning rings so fascinating!
    6. mikelv85 mikelv85, 6 years ago
      Thank you Rick :)...I did take it to the jeweler's today and he said it was beautiful and very real. Onyx and a natural seed pearl with a sterling silver band.
    7. Roycroftbooksfromme1, 6 years ago
      very nice mike...............
    8. mikelv85 mikelv85, 6 years ago
      Thank you Roy :)
    9. kivatinitz kivatinitz, 6 years ago
      compliments for the rings and for the post
    10. mikelv85 mikelv85, 6 years ago
      Thanks so much for the "love" and comment kivatinitz :)

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