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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

Welcome to our extensive antique jewelry glossary with around 1,500 jewelry related entries.If you feel you are missing an explanation, feel free to let us know and we will add it.

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Serjeant ring

A type of finger ring presented by an English barrister, upon being called to be a Serjeant-at-law (a judicial post held before becoming a judge, abolished in 1875), to the Sovereign, judges, numerous officials, and also friends. Such rings were flat, gold bands, usually with moulded rims and encircling stripes between which was engraved a Latin motto, usually of legal significance. Each donor gave a large number of rings and as a number of serjeants were called simultaneously, the quantity of such rings was vast; but today they are rare, as most were melted for gold.

They varied in weight according to the rank of the donee, but all were fairly costly. The custom prevailed from the late 15th century until 1875.

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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