top of page
  • Writer's pictureAntiques in Oxford

Rings with a secret meaning

Acrostic jewellery

Acrostic jewellery, which originated during the Georgian era, utilises various gemstones to convey a secret message. Within an acrostic ring, the first letter of each gemstone comes together to create a word. For anyone who enjoys a pop of colour and an element of secrecy, acrostic rings are an excellent choice.

The two most popular acronyms were the words DEAREST and REGARDS. Sometimes the acronym ADORE was used, but this was less common. Variations such as the word LOVE also became popular and were frequently used. These words were ‘spelled out’ in the following ways:

DEAREST: diamonds, emeralds, amethyst, ruby, emerald, sapphire and topaz (also tourmaline or turquoise)

REGARDS: ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst, ruby, diamond, sapphire

ADORE: amethyst, diamond, opal, ruby, emerald

LOVE: lapis lazuli, opal, vermarine, emerald

The meaning behind five stone rings is quite similar to that of the trilogy design, but with five stone rings, we like to get a bit more specific. The classic interpretation of the five stone ring design is that each stone is representative of a key stage in a traditional relationship: friendship, courtship, dating, marriage, and children.

Like trilogy rings, five stone rings beautifully represent the journey that you and your loved one are on together, a journey that you’re both excited to follow into the future.

If you’re looking for a striking and alternative engagement ring style, a snake ring could be exactly what you’re after! First made popular by Queen Victoria when she received a snake style engagement ring from Prince Albert, snake rings have retained niche popularity over the years, especially for those who want to stand out from the crowd.

Similar to eternity rings, snake rings (especially when a snake is swallowing its own tail) symbolise infinity. They may not seem to be the most romantic animal to feature on your engagement ring at first glance, but the secret meaning behind them is touching and powerful.

Flowers symbolise the biggest part of all jewellery symbols. From around 1830 it became popular to “say it with flowers” a way to express their love and friendship. Popular motifs included Pansies, forget me not, and roses made from gold and silver set with diamonds and turquoise on brooches, earrings, lockets and rings. A large selection of Forget me not flowers were set with turquoise, which was chosen for the colour and became known as the gemstone for the forget me not motif.

By the 1850s the early designs had given way to more extravagant and complex works of art with extreme sprays of diamond encrusted flowers and large corsage ornaments sometimes featured naturalistic green enamelled leaves. A list of a few floral symbols:

Forget me not- Remember me and true Love

Chrysanthemum – love

Ivy- Everlasting love and marriage

Pansies – Thinking of you.

Fern – Sincere

Rose – love. Hope. Joy

Other sentimental themes included love and song birds, hair jewellery, Mizpah brooches which means The Lord watch between me and thee when we are absent one from another” and miniatures.

For example, a brooch with a honeybee and a crescent moon could represent the word “honeymoon” and would possibly be a gift from a husband to his new bride on their wedding night.

1 view0 comments


bottom of page