Skip to product information
1 of 11

Bold Crane in its Vigilance Signet Ring

Bold Crane in its Vigilance Signet Ring

Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.
Carbon-neutral shipping with Shopify Planet
Carbon-neutral shipping on all orders
Powered by Shopify Planet
A beautiful and heavy ring, laden with symbolism and history. Crafted by Balfour, a jewelry manufacturer founded in Attleboro, Massachusetts in 1913, who specialized in fraternity, sorority, and class rings, this is a classic example of the style. A sturdy and neutral piece, the ring features a simple heraldic motif with a roman numeral, a monogram on the shoulders, and a personal inscription inside. The design elements of the exterior of the ring are not hand engraved, but rather would have been carved in wax and then cast for ease of reproduction for the whole group, while the inscription is done by hand.

The face of the ring features the crane in its vigilance, a well-known symbol: Pliny the Elder wrote that in cranes, a single bird is appointed to guard the group while the others sleep. The crane thus holds a rock in his claw; if he should fall asleep the stone would drop and reawaken him to keep watch. The rock is the crane's vigilance, and together they represent watchfulness, vigilance, prudence, and dutifulness, as well as wisdom and foresight. Below, the roman numeral MDCCCLXXIII, for 1873, and on the shoulders are the letters SBN, stylized with the B larger for significance within the arrangement. We were recently informed by a kind follower that the ring appears to be from the Bellevue School of Nursing in New York City, once independent but now part of the City University of New York system. Founded as The Training School For Nurses in 1873 and attached to Bellevue Hospital, it was the first of its kind in the United States, based on Florence Nightingale's nursing principles. In 1880, Tiffany & Co. designed the school pin for graduates, featuring the crane in its vigilance encircled by a wreath of poppies. In 1929, the women's school merged with the Mills Training School for Men, becoming the Bellevue Schools of Nursing until 1958 when it was renamed the Bellevue and Mills Schools of Nursing.

Inside the ring, the hand engraving is a little worn but appears to be made out to MDC '53 - a graduate, in a rapidly changing field, ready to contribute and care for those most in need. The ring is smooth, comfortable, and has the most beautiful weight on the finger, and is certainly a piece to be treasured for years to come.

• 10k yellow gold, stamped for Balfour
• Size 6.5 and resizeable, with evidence of past sizing (though this may very well be from its initial manufacture)
• Face of ring is 13.4mm by 11mm, with a rise off the finger of 2.3mm; the back of the band is tapered to 3mm wide and 1mm thick
• 7.4g
• Face features a "Crane in its Vigilance," the bird is facing dexter and vigilant (facing the viewer's left, and standing with a leg raised and stone in claw), with the roman numeral MDCCCLXXIII, for 1873, below and the letters SBN stylized for the acronym BSN on both shoulders. Inside the ring is a hand engraved personal inscription reading "MDC '53"
View full details

Materials and care

  • Solid gold is among the best materials for everyday wear.

  • Find more information about metals and gemstones.

  • Shipping & Returns