Antique: Gold Secret Message Ring, 19th c.
This sentimental ring appears to be merely a simple wide gold band, but press the tiny lever on the side and it opens to reveal a compartment for a secret message. Slip in a hand-written note or engrave your monogram, initials, or a message on the inside.
Circa 1830-40 and later engraved on the outside with the initials O.R. and the date 1901. Wear it by itself, as a stacking ring, or as a wedding band.
Sentimental jewelry was a significant fashion trend during the Georgian and Victorian periods. Messages could be hidden in concealed compartments known only to the wearer or displayed in plain view spelled out using the first initial of different gems set in a particular order ("Dearest" diamond, emerald, amethyst...).
Craftsmanship could be was extraordinary. Delicate diamond flower brooches were designed to tremble with movement ("trembleuse" "en tremblant"). Exquisitely engineered tiny hinges and secret compartments were meticulously fitted together by hand.
Dimensions & Details
- The ring is 9 ct gold (tested).
- The ring was engraved at a later date with the initials O.R. and the date 1901.
- It is 7 mm in height.
- The ring is approximately a US size 6 1/2 - 6 3/4, UK size M1/2 - N. The ring cannot be sized up or down without impacting the mechanism.
Period & Hallmarks
- 19th c., circa late Georgian early Victorian.
- The ring is in good antique condition with wear and some surface scratches. The release, hinge and closure opens and closes. There is a small repair to the inside of the top band, it does not show through to the front.
If you are interested in reading more about the jewelry terms or decorative periods referenced throughout our site, visit our Resources section for additional information.
Find out how to care for your collection of antique and modern jewels: visit our Jewelry Care page to get advice on maintaining and storing your treasured pieces.
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