One of My Many...Obsessions!

Jewelry is worn, and created, to be admired.  It's made as an 'adornment,' something to enrich the wearer or identify their status in a community.  Rings seem to be the most identifiable when it comes to status symbols.  Dating all the way back to the time of Pompeii, rings were a popular way to convey wealth and status.  Archaeologists have even found texts from that time period outlining how rings should be worn.  Talk about some of the first jewelry bloggers!  

Medieval Seal Matrix Guilded Silver Ring, 15th Century - Senatus Consulto, $550.
A rare European, medieval guilded silver seal ring, dating to the 15th cent. AD or slightly earlier.  The ring has a round engraved seal matrix of a high detailed beast, perhaps a lion, within a ring of floral ornamentation. 

Rings were/are a personal advertisement.  They advertise marital status, wealth, position within a cultural hierarchy, symbolic devotion (example: kissing of the Pope's ring) and have even served as a business tool (example: as a seal) over the centuries.  

Antique French 18k Carved Bloodstone Intaglio Signet Seal Ring - Cachet Antiques, Collectibles & Fine Art, $950.
 Early Victorian seal ring, handcrafted from 18k gold with a carved center bloodstone intaglio with the initials,"AFEMA."  Lovely shoulders with an engraved floral design, size 7.5 & has never been sized as it has the traditional ribbed french shank.

But nowadays, rings are primarily used as adornments or to convey an individual's marital status.  And, like the wearer themselves, each one is unique with a history of its own.  It's a fascination with those histories that first got me interested in collecting wedding bands and mourning rings (to see the post about my first enamel mourning band, click here.).  

Emerald & platinum eternity band - This little beauty is a contemporary design with a vintage feel & dates to the 1980s.

I love the idea of not only creating my own story but of adding to the already existing history of a ring.  These rings were special.  They meant something to the people who wore them.  And, obviously I'm not the only who feels this way.  Just look at the number of online retailers, websites and blogs dedicated to "vintage weddings" and "vintage wedding sets."

A portion of my collection of antique platinum & diamond wedding bands.  Some of the bands are contemporary (example: the one on the far right) & others, such as the first one on the left, date to the 1920s.

When I was younger, I always thought, "if I ever have a daughter, then I'll pass one on to her for each milestone in her life to commemorate it."  Well, as fate would have it, I grew up and decided that having kids of my own wasn't for me.  Instead, I have stepsons that I love and adore as if they were my own and lucky, lucky me...One niece, Adalyn.  

My niece, Adalyn.  Of course, I'm biased...BUT, I'm pretty sure she is the most adorable thing ever!

Well, now that Adalyn is here, I can go back to my original plan.  And, she will get the chance to add her own life story to the already long history of some of the these little beauties when they are headed in her direction...eventually!  I hope that, in the future, she enjoys them as much as I am and that she can add her own unique story to them!

A simple platinum band with a lot of history.  Although undated, this little band with the interior engraving demonstrates 
the love that one person had for another.  Addy - Aunt Tiff loves you & I can't wait to start passing these little wedding bands 
on down to you!

Don't forget your chance to be featured in a future Inspired Antiquity blog!  What piece started your collection / obsession?  Let us know on Instagram (@InspiredAntiquity) or Twitter (@NpiredAntiquity) with hashtag #StartedMyObsession for a chance to be featured in a future Inspired Antiquity blog!

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