Medieval Amethyst Ring C. 1450
If you take the opportunity turn to plate 18 of Charles Oman's book of "British Rings", you will find a similar ring to this 15th century relic. These objects of centuries ago somehow wend their way to us today, and this particular one belies its venerable age as it is in almost in the same condition as when it was fashioned.
With its original cabochon amethyst, it is set into silver gilt bezel and shank. Typical of this time period and, in fact characteristic of most gems prior to the 17th century, it is not faceted but polished en cabochon. This means that it has a rounded top and flat bottom. It is geometric in shape and set into a mounting which has been rubbed over the edges and flattened to some degree. Having a fine and thin silver gilt shank (or band) is also typical of this time period. The amethyst appears to be original, as does all the metal work. Some of the gilding is now worn, but still evident with a pale yellow golden hue. Large in size, the band is a size US 9-3/4 (British T; Euro 19.5; 61 mm). Remember that this may have been worn by a man or woman--almost all fingers were utilized to wear rings so this may have been a ring for the index finger or even thumb. Most likely British in origin. Measures just over 3/8 of an inch (1 cm) by just over 1/4 of an inch (0.7 cm). Circa 1450.
Important: This ring should not be exposed to any liquids, water, cleaning products or harsh chemicals due to the foil backed gem and its age. If considering this as an engagement ring, please keep this in mind.