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from the archive
Victorian Concealed Key Snake Ring

Since the days of Ancient Rome, rings have been adapted to be not just decorative objects, but also useful ones. Sometimes they are also lockets (to hold poison as well as mementos), or they are watches, or as in the case of this ring, they are also keys. This dual use is both very clever, and also just plain good common sense. Since the ring is worn on the hand, the key remains as close to the owner as is possible and is always conveniently available when needed. This incredible, and rare Victorian signet seal ring holds a key that discreetly tucks under the head of the ring. The key would have opened a coffer aka a small box used to hold jewelry, money, or other valuables. The face of the ring features two snakes coiled around an intaglio of a woman holding a single flower.


  • Materials

    14k gold (tests)

  • Age

    c. 1880

  • Condition

    Very good

  • Size

    6, cannot be resized; 11/16" x 1/2" head, 4.8mm 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

Rings withHidden Keys

Rings with hidden keys are a great idea, but not a new one. Let’s go back 2000+ years.