“This enamelled gold mourning ring commemorates the death of Samuel Nicholets of Hertfordshire who died on 7th July 1661, as is recorded in the inscription inside the ring. The ring is hollow, and a lock of hair curls around within it, visible through the openwork of the enamelled decoration of skulls and coats of arms.”
Mourning ring, made in England, 1773 (source). The ring memorializes the death of Sir Evelyn Pierrepont, second Duke of Kingston. The inscription reads: H.G. the D. of Kingston ob.23.Sep.1773.Aet.62. Not lost but gone before.
Georgian enamelled memorial ring set with rock crystal. Horizontally set to centre with a faceted coffin shape rock crystal in a stepped rubover setting on to an intricate depiction of a skeleton, flanked by a smooth conforming band with black enamel and an etched raised relief of an extremely intricate yellow gold full reclining skeleton with skull and cross bones, flowing around the band.
In the sixteenth and seventeenth century, the practice of bequeathing rings belonging to the deceased to friends and family was gradually replaced by the custom of leaving a sum of money to buy commemorative and mourning rings. Later in the seventeenth century, rings were distributed at the funeral service to be worn in memory of the deceased. 'Memento mori' (remember you must die) inscriptions and devices such as hourglasses, skulls, crossbones and skeletons became fashionable on many types…