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Rings with a Story

By  Arthur Anderson

Rings are more than just objects of personal adornment and portable wealth.  Since earliest times,  rings have also served to tell the story of two people,  how they met, and their life together.

Perhaps this tradition began in 1234 when King Louis IX of France blissfully wed Marguerite of Provence.  To celebrate their marriage,  the King had his goldsmith craft a special ring.  The outside of the ring was decorated with a garland of entwined daisies and lilies.  The daisies symbolized his wife  ("marguerite" is the French word for daisy)  and the lilies  (the fleurs de lis)  represented his kingdom.  On the inside of the ring,  Louis IX inscribed the motto "This ring contains all I love."

The Victorians also loved jewels with special meanings.  One style of ring would spell out a word or phrase using the initials of the gemstones.  For example,  a ring set with a Diamond,  Emerald,  Amethyst and Ruby would spell out "DEAR", or Lapis,  Opal,  Vermeil (a Victorian name for hessonite garnet and other reddish-orange gems),  and Emerald for "LOVE".  The gemstones might also spell out the wearer’s name." This form of symbolism is known as "acrostic" jewelry.

The Victorians also created "rebus" jewels in which elements of the design formed a picture puzzle.  For example,  a brooch featuring a honey bee,  a golden knot and a cross ("X") would mean "Honey,  be not cross!" No doubt given by a gentleman to his beloved after doing something exceptionally bad!

The tradition of incorporating personal symbols and special meanings into rings and jewels did not end with the Victorian era.  Over the past decade,  we have helped many couples design rings that celebrate the story of how they met and their life together.  We call these special jewels "story rings".

Here are several of the story rings we recently created ....

Platinum, 18kt gold and diamond custom wedding ring. Custom platinum wedding band with diamonds and sapphires. Hand-engraved platinum band with violet sapphires.

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