I've always been enamored with old world romance, courting customs, and such. In the current book I'm writing, my hero gives my heroine a posy ring. I'd heard of these rings but for some reason their history and poignancy didn't stick till I found that they fit well in this particular story.
Currently, posy rings from the 16th-18th century are going for thousands of dollars at auction. I'd love to have one but they're a bit out of my budget! Fire-gilded posy rings are particularly valuable. Fire-gilding is an ancient technique involving gold being melded to metal at high heat, thus resulting in unequaled color and durability.
Rings like these were usually worn on a thumb before the wedding and switched to the traditional third finger upon marriage.
Early rings were often engraved in French or Latin on the outside. Later they were engraved in English on the inside. Here are some poignant, posy phrases:
AS GOD SAW FIT OUR KNOTT IS KNITT
AS GOLD IS PURE LET LOVE INDURE
AS IN THEE HAVE MADE MY CHOYCE SO IN THE LORD LET US REJOYCE
BE KIND IN HARTE
BE THOU MINE AS I AM THINE
FEARE GOD AND LYE ABED TILL NOONE
DESIRE HATH SET MY HARTE ON FIRE
I won't tell you what is inscribed in the posy ring given by my hero. Here's hoping you'll read the book;)
Do you have heirloom jewelry that is especially meaningful to you? Would you like a posy ring? If so, what would it say?