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Rare Antique Fede Puzzle Ring

Rare Antique Fede Puzzle Ring

Regular price $301.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $301.00 USD
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A great delight, this rare Victorian gilt ring combines several of our favourite elements. 

The fede ring, from the Italian phrase "mani di fede," is distinguished by the figure of two hands (clasped in faith, per the translation) that has come to represent friendship, love, or engagement. The style of ring rose in popularity in medieval times, and was a popular choice for engagement rings and wedding bands for hundreds of years.

The early fede ring enjoyed many iterations and evolved into the modern claddagh ring where the hands clasp a crowned heart. While many folks tend to use the terms fede and gimmel interchangeably for these handsy styles, gimmel - from the Latin gemellus, or twin - actually refers to a pair of entwined bands. A fede with fixed hands isn't a gimmel, and a pair of locking bands can be a gimmel but not a fede. Not only is this lovely fede a gimmel, the hands slide open to reveal that the ring is also a four-band puzzle.

The puzzle ring has a long history - while some date it back to the Egyptians, and others to ancient China, the best known story of its origin is of the Turkish nobleman who commissioned an intricate puzzle ring that only he and the goldsmith knew how to assemble - therefore if his wife were ever to remove it (for ~nefarious purposes~), she wouldn't be able to put it back together and would be immediately found out. Naturally, we're pretty strongly in the camp of spouses-are-not-property, but our love of puzzles, riddles, tricks, and games draws us time and again to these intricate bands. Be sure to visit instagram.com/st.eloi for a video on how to easily reassemble this four-part ring.

Good antique condition with wear in line with age and use, including some wear to plating and patina to metal.

Details:
• Gold over sterling silver
• Size 3 3/4 and cannot be resized
• Face of ring measures 7.7mm wide, with a rise of 3.8mm; back of band measures 4.6mm wide and 1.7mm thick
• 3.3g

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Materials and care

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

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