As you know if you collect Suffragette jewelry, affordable rings are extremely rare. Compared to brooches, necklaces and bracelets, few rings were made and most of those were custom creations featuring gold and genuine gems.
This unusual example -- done in white metal with pretend purple jade, pearls and emeralds -- is also remarkable for its size: The face measures an inch in diameter and rises 3/4 of an inch above the hand. Nobody could miss seeing it, when the original owner wore it on a march or to a meeting, which of course was the idea!
This quirky color combination held deep meaning among 19th century and early 20th century feminists, for whom green represented hope, purple signified dignity and white stood for purity. The language we associate with "regard" jewelry applied, too: The "G" of green, "W" of white and "V" of violet comprised an abbreviation for Give Women (the) Vote. It seems cryptic now, but was clearly understood by everyone in an era when messages were also communicated by which flowers you sent, how you held your fan and which corner of a calling card you folded down, if any.
Tucked away and forgotten for decades, Suffragette jewelry began rapidly gaining value when the movie "Iron Jawed Angels" debuted in 2004, revealing what the gals went through (including hunger strikes and beatings) before all women achieved in the vote in the US in 1920 and the UK in 1928. We try our best to maintain a good selection of pieces, but demand keeps growing. When you spot a piece you like, it's often wise not to delay.
Because the jewels weren't used on a daily basis, they tend to survive in great shape. The condition of this one, however, is a little rough, explaining why the price is so low. There's definite wear to the metal finish, which looks like tarnish on old silver and doesn't detract much. On the plus side, all the stones appear to be original and I believe the adjustable shank is original, too. Because the style has an Art Nouveau look, probably the ring was made before World War I. Its provenance is a Midwestern estate.
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