Georgian 18k Amethyst Pearl Mourning Ring

A rare George IV mourning ring, fully hallmarked for the year 1830, 18k gold, and the London assay office; due to the ring never having once been resized, all five hallmarks have been preserved in their crisp original state. Instead of a glass panel with hair, this ring was set with a foiled table-cut amethyst; the work appears original. The back of the ring face bears the inscription: “Archie. 1908”; faint lettering behind this inscription suggest the original 1830 mourning inscription was polished away to make way for the passing of Archie.

By the 1830s, the reserved elegance of the 1800-1820s had given away to a more gorgeous and florid look. This ring, like earlier examples, was made with a collet-set pearl halo. However, unlike those earlier prototypes, it adopts a more fanciful design replete with textured Rococo-revival shells and deeply chased floral shoulders. The pairing of the white pearls with black enamel and deep purple amethyst, all against a ground of rich gold, makes for a visually stunning color palette.

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Description

Date: 1830, late Georgian era (reign of George IV); dated by hallmarks

Ring Size: USA 9.75, UK S 1/2, EU 61 (resizing is not recommended, but still possible with limitations — message me for more information)

Materials: amethyst, natural pearls, enamel, solid 18k yellow gold (marked & tested)

Weight: 3.9 grams

Marks:
– [Head of George VI] gold excise duty mark
– [crown 18] for solid 18k gold
– [lion head] for the London assay office
– [p] year stamp for 1830
– [TP] Jeweler’s initials

Inscriptions: original 1830 inscription polished away; replaced by “Archie 1908” in the early 20th century

Dimension of ring face: 13 x 10.8 mm

Diameter of pearls: 2.8 mm

Dimension of amethyst: 6.5 x 3 mm

Dimension of decorative shoulders: 11 x 10 mm

Width of shank: 2.6 – 4 mm

Thickness of shank: 0.7 – 0.8 mm

Condition: The back of the ring face has a protruding/outward-facing dent. There’s a slight ‘wave’ to the bezel of the amethyst setting (it’s unclear whether this is later damage or an original manufacturing error). Both stone and setting is however secure and firmly in place without any movement. There’s been some very tiny surface repairs to the black enamel. The gold shows age-related surface wear, and the original mourning inscription has been replaced by “Archie 1908” during the early 20th century. Other than these issues, this ring is in excellent condition, with its rare full set of hallmarks still well-preserved and crisp.