Serpent Rings, an Entrancing Motif
Serpent Rings, a Brief History
his serpent (snake) ring is a beautiful example of Victorian and Edwardian jewellery design. The snake motif has been very popular throughout history, and has been embraced by many cultures (Roman, Greek, and Chinese just to name a few) as a representation of eternity, wholeness, regeneration, and rebirth.
Serpent rings in particular reached their peak in popularity during the Victoria, and Edwardian eras. Queen Victoria even chose a snake ring set with diamonds, rubies and emeralds as her engagement ring! Prince Albert also had a similar ring created with an Emerald set into it as this was Victoria’s birth stone.
As design progressed, the snake motif would be used in the Art Nouveau period for its beautiful natural curves, and would also fall back into fashion as Britain became influenced by the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, and the cultural treasures which were inside.
About this ring…
Thank you to my friend Carli, founder of St. Eloi Vintage, let me borrow this ring as an example to photograph, and write about.
This fine specimen is from the Edwardian era. Crafted in 18 karat yellow gold, it is marked for the Sheffield assay office. Although no makers mark can be found on the piece, likely due to a previous sizing, it is a very well executed ring!
Set with scintillating old cut diamonds, you will discover upon closer inspection that some of the old cuts have a fascinating greenish-yellow colour. Some replacement stones have led to a slight patchwork effect, but I think this just adds to the design! To me, the mismatched stones resemble the unique colouring of a snakes skin.