Since the days of Ancient Rome, rings have been adapted to be not just decorative objects, but also useful ones. Sometimes they are also lockets (to hold poison as well as mementos), or they are watches, or as in the case of this ring, they are also keys. This incredible and rare Victorian piece holds a key that discreetly tucks into the head of the ring and is concealed by a hinged round carnelian locket. Beneath the key almost entirely hidden from view is a bloodstone slab - a nice detail. The key would have opened a small box used to hold jewelry, money, or other valuables.
18k yellow gold (tests), carnelian.
Very good - minor scruffs and surface wear commensurate with age and use.
11, can be resized; 3.9mm shank, 3/8" rise off the finger, 5/8" diameter of head.
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1837 — 1901
Rings with hidden keys are a great idea, but not a new one. Let’s go back 2000+ years.