Erica Weiner

1734 Enameled Mourning Ring with Diamond $4,000.00

This mid-18th century ring is an example of the extraordinary amount of handiwork and attention to detail that went into creating mourning jewelry in the centuries before the Industrial Revolution. The foil-backed 0.20-carat diamond is wrapped in a closed silver setting, which is in turn mounted in a carefully tooled 18K gold bezelóa design convention that both prevented oxidization on the wearer's skin and created a uniform appearance with the 18K gold hoop. Delicate script stands out against the black enamel, which is shockingly pristine for its almost 300 years of exposure to the elements. "JOA ORAM," it reads, "OB: 14 JULY 1734 AET 60." As if this ring was not astonishing enough, remember that the average life expectancy in the 1700s was around 40. I'd speculate that that Mr. Oram's relatives were bestowed with such fancy mourning jewelry because their beloved died at an abnormally advanced age. This ring is a US size 6 and cannot be re-sized.

To see this piece in person, visit our shop in Nolita, New York