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from the archive
Victorian Ruby & Pearl Pansy Ring

The name “pansy” derives from the French word “pensee” which means “thought.” Ever big on subtlety, the Victorians devised an entire symbolic language of flowers. For example, a Victorian gentleman could express that he was thinking of his love by presenting her with a pansy - and she would understand what that meant! This exquisite and very photogenic Victorian ring features a pansy rendered in pearls with a ruby ovule (note the half-formed layer of nacre on the largest of the pearls). The underside of the head holds a locket which once would have contained plaited hair but is now empty.


  • Materials

    18k gold (tests), pearls, 2mm ruby

  • Age

    c. 1850

  • Condition

    Very good - visible mark on the shank from a previous resizing

  • Size

    7.5, can be resized; 9mm head, 1.2mm shank

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please note:Terms of Sale

Antiques can be returned unworn and in original condition within 10 days of delivery for an exchange or refund minus the cost of shipping. Once a piece has been altered, including ring re-sizing, it is FINAL SALE.

RelatedHistory Lesson

Pansies:Think of Me

Anthropomorphic, wild, and adorable, pansies were jubilantly translated into jewelry throughout the Victorian era.

RelatedHistory Lesson

Floriography: The Secret Language of Flowers

Floriography allowed the Victorians to communicate their desires without saying anything at all.

RelatedHistory Lesson

Pearls:The World's Oldest Gemstone

Supernaturally powerful orbs.