This antique Stuart crystal 15 karat gold ring is 17th century. Stuart crystals are among the most coveted of antique jewels by dealers and collectors alike.
Stuart crystals are among the earliest of mourning jewels and were worn following the execution of King Charles I, when the Stuart followers wore this jewelry in the form of rings and slides in silent support of the fallen King. The faceted crystals contained very finely woven hair (seen with a loop) upon which a cypher of gold wire would be placed on top. In this ring there are the letters GB (elaborate and difficult to read) and also has a decorative pattern of gold wire forming a frame around the letters, not often seen in these rings.
In this fine example the ring has deeply carved motifs on each side of the crystal. The crystal too has a finely carved collet and rub over setting. The crystal is step cut and clear in spite of being over 300 years old. The reverse of the crystal, has almost the full remains of black and white enamel. The black enamel would also have been present on the shoulders of the ring but has been lost during the three centuries of wear.
It is a size 5 3/4 US and is in excellent condition. The head of the ring measures 3/8ths inches.
This is a beautiful, remarkable example of sentimental jewelry that has remained vibrant through the centuries.
England, circa 1680
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Unique Antique Jewelry Through the Centuries
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