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Unusual Antique Opal Mourning Ring

Unusual Antique Opal Mourning Ring

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A stunning and unusual memorial ring from the late 19th century, in a style that wouldn't typically be associated with loss if not for the sentimental inscription inside. While mourning jewelry goes back to at least the middle ages, it was further popularized (like so many things) by Queen Victoria, who, upon Prince Albert's death in 1861, committed to a deep and public grief for the forty years she outlived him. Victorian motifs in mourning included materials such as hair (woven or painted in sepia), enamel (often black or white), and seed pearls (to represent tears), and symbolism including willows, crosses, ouroboros, and urns. Though none of these are present here, with the ring instead featuring a trio of lively, otherworldly opals interspersed with old, hand-cut diamonds - inside the band is an engraved inscription that reads for a set of initials (though worn, they look to us like M.H.C.), and the phrase "died 4th June, 1890." Whomever this lost loved one was, we like to imagine a bright soul whose essence could only be commemorated with a piece that seems to celebrate life more than lamenting its loss.

Very good antique condition with wear in line with age and use.

• 18k yellow gold, hallmarks worn to illegible, but tested
• Size 6, and do not recommend resizing
• Three round opal cabochons, four old cut diamonds
• Face of ring measures 6mm wide, 16.3mm across, with a rise of 2.8mm; back of band measures 1.8mm wide and 0.6mm thick
• 3.0g
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  • Solid gold is among the best materials for everyday wear.

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