A very finely-made Victorian memorial ring worked in 18K yellow gold and plaited hair. The ring is designed as belt, ornately decorated with open navette- and trefoil-shaped reserves, each showing the loved one’s hair. The gold surfaces are nicely engraved, and the whole is finished off with an ornate buckle centered with a escutcheon engraved with the initials “MW”. In Victorian symbology, the belt represented not only eternal love, but also strength and protection. A ring such as this, tightly surrounding the finger, would be an ever-present reminder. Buckle rings, even those with hair panels, were not always for mourning, but rather sentimental pieces. Since the band is not engraved with a name or death date in the interior, it’s quite likely that this ring was intended as a romantic symbol. The interior of the band is stamped with 18K gold marks for Chester in the year 1883. Rings of this type are much more common in lower purity gold such as 9K or 12K.
• Origin: Chester, England, 1883.
• Dimensions: band, 8/32” wide; buckle, 10/32” wide.
• Finger Size: 9-1/2.
• Weight: 3.1 grams.
• Condition: excellent; sharp detail; hair is perfect.
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