"The Ghost In The Ring"

SOLD--Early Victorian 15K Gold, Silver, & Old Mine-Cut Diamond Memento-Mori Ring

  • Sale
  • Regular price $1,350.00



Memento-mori jewelry is the name given to sixteenth through eighteenth-century jewelry that was created as a reminder of the inevitability of death and the need to live piously. Translation from the Latin, “remember you must die,” is very clearly indicative of the objective of the theme. Skulls, skeletons, and coffins, usually incorporated into rings or necklaces were the most popular.

This incredible, very early historic example (possibly as early as 1830) of a mourning ring is made of 15 karat gold, shaped to resemble a rudimentary skull, with two silver backed old mine-cut diamonds on either side. While not as detailed as other examples of this genre of jewelry, it has a haunting quality, as if the skull is emerging from the ring face. Because of its small size, it has been speculated that it may have been commemorating or made for a child. It's a very unique piece, essential to any collector of memento-mori jewelry.

Resizing is not recommended due to the historic import of the ring. It could be worn as a midi ring, or on a chain.

Details (approximate)

Size (cannot be resized): 3.4

Dimensions: Ring top is 12mm at widest point.

Weight: 4 grams

Materials: Gold, old mine-cut diamonds

Metal: 15K gold

Marks: None

Condition: Good antique condition; chips on both diamonds, scratching and wear expected from a well-loved piece of this age.