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Scarce Antique Bishop's Ring with Citrine

In the mid centuries of the common era the wearing of precious jewelry was limited to royalty and the high-ranking members of ecclesiastical communities. Dating to at least circa 600 CE, there is definitive proof of a Bishop wearing a ring for his office.

Around the 13th century these rings took on the configuration of a large stone surrounded by smaller stones although the focus of some of the early rings was only a main centered stone. This type was often used at the consecration ceremony of a bishop in addition to being worn to represent their office and station in life. Please note that these rings were always large in proportion and in ring size appointed with symbolic elements ornamenting the shoulders and shank.

In homage we present a scarce late 19th century example rendered in 14k yellow gold and silver. The main gem is a oval faceted cushion cut natural citrine (13 mm by 12 mm) of an estimated 4.7 carats with a surround of eighteen (18) rose cut diamonds of a total estimated weight of .85 carats (J-K color; SI1-2 average clarity) set in silver. The shoulders and shank feature emblematic Fleur-de-Lys designs and cut-out flower motifs all around. Suitable for a man or woman, not for the faint of heart -- this is showy and large!

Date: Circa 1900.

Note: For examples of a variety of Bishops’ rings refer to plates 19A, 63 and 64 in “British Rings 800 – 1914” by Charles Oman.

+ Measurements, Condition & More

Measurements: 3/4 of an inch (1.9 cm) in length north to south on the hand and rises 5/16 of an inch (0.8 cm) in height off the finger. Weight of 12.6 grams (8.1 dwt).

Ring Size: US 11-3/4 (UK X; Euro or Int. Circum. 66.5 mm; Int. Dia. 21.2 mm; Japan over a 24) and can be sized down some but not to a size below about an 8. Contact us for more details. Ring sizing information.

Condition: Ring has faint evidence of resizing at the back; citrine has some light surface wear if viewed with magnification.

Origin: Possibly English.

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