Inscribed Sapphire Ring

Late 14th century (gold setting); 10th century? (sapphire)


Many rings employ stones repurposed from other pieces of jewelry. This
extraordinary ring showcases a large sapphire inscribed in Arabic with
the name: “Abd as-Salam ibn Ahmad.”
The stone, engraved centuries before
the ring was created, was clearly highly prized. Sapphire, which was
quarried in Ceylon, Arabia, and Persia, came west through trade. The
stone was associated with chastity and purity. A second inscription
reads: “For love you were made and for love I wear you.” This work, with
its mixture of eastern and western elements, is among one of the rarest
in the Griffin Collection.


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