The Georgian Coffin Memorial Ring

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The Georgian Coffin Memorial Ring

3,800.00

Metal: 22K Gold 

Stone: Crystal with hair-work

Era: 1773

Size: 9.5

What You Should Know: Small Resizing gold lip on back of shank. Can easily be removed.

It’s odd to think of acknowledging death as an industry, but during the Georgian era there was a fervor of demand and longing for physical things for recognizing mortality. The “mourning industry” became popular in the late 17th century, and was in full swing throughout the 1800’s. There is 'no out of the box' symbolism when it comes to memento mori pieces, the deathly characters are present for that purpose. The Georgians truly believed if confronting death on a daily basis, right down to the jewelry they wore, it was a constant reminder of living life to the fullest. Spend your time wisely since it is limited.

This beautiful late Georgian ring is a gorgeous example of memento mori / mourning jewelry. The general aesthetic of the ring with the coffin shaped crystal face and wavy band inspired by the humerus bone is a perfect example of memorial jewelry. The personal touches such as the lock of hair behind the crystal and the choice of white enamel was a nod to the fact that this was a mourning ring commissioned to commemorate a specific person’s passing. It was in typical fashion to use real human hair from a loved one in mourning jewelry often set in crystal topped rings or pendants. The white enamel, instead of the more common black, was an indication that the departed was either an unmarried woman, or even a child. White was a symbol for purity and innocence. Some historians even believe white enamel was used for children to signal that the young person would not descend into the darkness, but have a bright, heavenly afterlife.

We love this ring not despite but because of its seemingly darker connotations. It’s a lovely example of the sentiment and beliefs of people in that point in history. A wearable celebration of life, and a piece of those who were gone. 

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