Rare 1686 Stuart Crystal Antique Ring
Items of jewelry referred to as Stuart crystals have an origin which can be attributed to the politics of the 17th century, the Stuart Monarchy and the execution of King Charles I in 1649. Those who wished to remain loyal to his reign often wore upon their person a ring embellished with a faceted rock crystal under which was set a lock of Charles’ hair, his initials or with a miniature portrait of his image. Eventually this loyalist tradition segued into a style of jewelry we now refer to as sentimental and memorial. Retaining the faceted rock crystal, a skull image, initials in twisted gold wire called a cypher, a bit of cloth or slip of hair was placed beneath the crystal. Several forms of jewelry using the crystals emerged and included cufflinks and slides worn on the wrist.
This 22k yellow gold ring began life as one of the aforementioned slides and subsequently much later was converted to a ring. Splendid and grand in size, the slight oval shaped face is covered with a fine and clear beveled rock crystal (so clear that it appears as it were glass). Entirely intact, the crystal has never been removed. Within is a beautiful and inexorably large twisted gold wire cypher rendered in an intricate and ornate form upon the surface of a bed of chestnut colored hair interspersed with strands of blonde.
Please note the craftsmanship of the characteristic period border with scalloped edge with the gold bezel over the crystal burnished as smoothly as butter. The reverse reveals the attachment points of the removed slide fittings now mounted with a handcrafted gold hoop. In addition, the back is engraved with a combined monogram of “C” and “F”, initials “J” and “S” and the date of 1686. For more information please see our section under “Jewelry History, Reference – Helpful Terms & Glossary, Stuart Crystal Jewelry”.
Measurements: 5/8 of an inch (1.6 cm) in length north to south on the hand by 3/4 of an inch (1.8 cm) in width and rises 3/16 of an inch (0.5 cm) in height off the finger. Weight of 4.1 grams (2.6 dwt).
Ring Size: US 6-1/4 (UK M; Int. Dia. 16.75; Euro 53 mm; Japan 12) and easily can be sized to fit most. Ring sizing information.
Condition: Excellent for top with the crystal with chips; tight fitting bezel as crystal never removed; interior of crystal is fine and clear. This was a slide converted much later to a ring with slide fittings removed. Shank is 15k yellow gold.
Important: This ring should not be in water for an extended period nor exposed to any other liquids, cleaning products or harsh chemicals due to the nature of piece.
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