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Exchanged by lovers in the 16th century, “Scribbling Rings” were set with a Diamond faceted not with a table facet, but with a sharp point, which was then used to engrave messages of love on glass.
Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots were two of the most famous scribblers: Sir Walter Raleigh was said to have scribbled upon his queen’s window: “Fain would I rise but that I fear to fall.” Elizabeth’s reply was: “If thy heart fail thee, do not rise at all.”
Today, after a long absence, scribbling rings are returning to fashion; however, this time it is coloured gemstones that are being used. Those buying these pieces are usually unaware of the history behind the cut of the gem and are likely to wear the piece as a fashion statement, rather than a writing tool!
Having said they were popular in the 16th century a Scribbling Ring was recently discovered in Leicestershire, England, which experts have dated back to the early medieval period, possibly the 11th century. A report in “The Times” newspaper on 21st of August 2008 states that a Mr Stevens, who was using a metal detector, found the Black Diamond ring in a local field and experts believe it once belonged to either the Church or royalty.
Sarah Bennett's take on the Scribbling Ring.
GIA qualified Gemmologists
Members of the British Jewellery Association
Members of the Coloured Gemstone Assocation