Stuart Crystal refers to a jewelry tradition that commenced in 1649, after the execution of King Charles I of the House of Stuart. Royalists (who opposed the execution of the king) discretely wore what has now become known as "Stuart Crystal"- a variety of rings, earrings, and brooches that commemorated the lost monarch. These rare pieces generally consist of cut rock crystal contained within a silver or foil-backed setting, and are characterized by the presence of woven hair (initially belonging to King Charles I himself), gold initials, or even miniature portraits, sometimes accompanied by words or phrases such as "in memoriam." The tradition of Stuart Crystal continued up through the late 17th century, eventually transitioning to alternative mourning styles around 1735. Some of the Stuart Crystal pieces are also classified as "love token jewelry," which immortalized the sentiments of lovers, rather than Memento Mori pieces in tribute to the king.
This rare and stunning ring is a wonderful example of historic Stuart Crystal from the Georgian (ca1780) era! This ring consists of a square-shaped rock crystal, which is beautifully faceted and contained within a foil-backed silver setting. The foil backing is enhanced with a luscious pink red color, which becomes visible on each side when turned in the light, making the crystals seem to glow colorfully from within. At the center is a hallmark of traditional Stuart Crystal jewelry - a set of very fine initials in gold calligraphy, surrounded by a delicate border. The crystal itself seals the backing and details in place, and is held within a pinched bezel setting. Completing the design is a 14kt gold band. Perfect for the historian or antique collector, this ring is as rich in history as it is in beauty and would make a wonderful addition to any collection!
Measurements: The ring has a finger size 6.5 but could be resized.
Condition: Considering its age, the overall condition of the ring is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the yellow gold setting. The rock crystal is intact and free of chips or scratches, and the gold initials and hair remain intact and in excellent condition.