Even before Queen Victoria lost her beloved Albert and the entire UK was thrown into decades of mourning, mourning jewelry, the mourning ring in particular, was around. Photographs were non-existent in the 1700s and it wasn’t until the 1830s when reliable cameras were introduced. What was one to do to immortalize loved ones who had moved on to the next life? Not everyone had the funds for painted portraiture. Jewelry was a more affordable and practicable option for sure.
What We Love About It: The droopy lily of the valley flower represented death or the deceased in mourning pieces but we love that there are four bright stars that surround the flower. No doubt a nod to something significant, and perhaps the number of children the memorialized loved one might have had.
The Deets: The ring is crafted out of sterling silver over 14kt gold. As was customary at the time, the four diamonds are set in silver (white gold did not yet exist) fashioned in star shapes. The entire 14kt yellow gold (stamped) shank of the ring is most assuredly a replacement, although at least 100 years old we’d guess. While the surface covering the hand painted lily of the valley flower is untested, we feel it to be rock crystal, which would be fitting with the time period. The ring is currently a size 7.5 US but could easily be sized up or down by our jeweler (see options and pricing in this listing) or by yours. The piece weighs in at 6.83g.
While we don’t know for whom this piece was crafted in remembrance, we do know that must have been dearly loved. How nice that their mourning ring lives on.