Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mastery of Design: A Diamond Finger Ring with a Miniature of King George III

Finger Ring with Miniature of George III
Gold, Diamonds, Miniature on Ivory
The Royal Collection

Though we tend to think of Prince Albert when we consider romantic ROyal gifts of jewelry, Queen Victoria's husband wasn’t the only Royal to give impressive gifts to his bride or bride-to-be. The custom has been going on for centuries. In 1761, King George III presented the future Queen Charlotte with an impressive suite of jewels. These additions, when added to her already massive collection of jewelry, made her the first Queen of England since the Seventeenth Century to have a collection of jewels at her disposal that rivaled that of the royalty of other nations.

Part of the suite of jewels is this attractive and personal ring which was intended to be worn on her little finger at their wedding. Beneath a large emerald-cut diamond lies an exquisite miniature of George III which has been painted on ivory. The central diamond is surrounded by smaller old mine cut diamonds. Queen Charlotte is said to have cherished this ring, leaving it to one of her daughters upon her death. For awhile, its whereabouts were unknown. It reentered the Royal Collection during the reign of Queen Victoria—only to be lost again when the King of Hanover claimed most of Victoria’s jewels as part of his fortune. Many years later, it was once again purchased by the Crown.

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