It’s ready! My modern memento mori ring


I am so excited with the arrival of this thing of beauty into my home and onto my finger! It’s been a privilege to work with the talented Isabelle Captain to realise this piece. A reminder to myself to live well – with all that means in it’s richest, ripest form, it was inspired by memento mori jewellery and my own work on Essex Crystals.

image showing sterling silver ring with 18ct highlights, rose cut diamonds and a showcase gem with a skull wearing a red hat
Contemporary memento mori ring. Sterling Silver, 18ct gold, rose cut salt and pepper diamonds, sapphires by Isabelle Capitain. Contemporary essex crystal by me (image courtesy Isabelle Capitain)

I made the little skull crystal – a nod to the graphic skulls depicted in memento mori art and jewellery of antiquity – and a bit of a fairground-ride, tunnel of terror vibe to make me smile. It’s hand engraved glass, fired vitreous enamels in several layers painted on the reverse and gilded with turquoise silver leaf. I asked Isabelle to design a contemporary memento mori ring to showcase my crystal with a bit of a feel of the historic skull rings, a sprinkling of rose cut diamonds and mixed silver and gold.

image showing a hand holding some twigs and wearing a sterling silver ring with 18ct highlights, rose cut diamonds and a showcase gem with a skull wearing a red hat

I love everything about this. I love it’s generous weight, I love it’s silky feel, I love the warm glimmer of 18ct gold. I love the atmospheric spaciousness you get in grey rose cut diamonds and the way the grain setting animates the showcase crystal. I love the flash of turquoise and party hat (or is it a crown?) that my skull wears and the way that the turquoise fades to a deep blue that echoes the tiny sapphires. It is also heavy with meaning. Memento mori means ‘remember you will die’ and was originally an exhortation to live well, although it later became a memorial symbol too. I did this as a reminder to myself that every moment is precious. To seek joy, adventure, peace, rest, whatever is right for any given moment, and to build my life with the best materials and joyful creativity. Read more about why with means so much to me at this point in my life here

image showing a hand wearing a sterling silver ring with 18ct highlights, rose cut diamonds and a showcase gem with a skull wearing a red hat and with four small skull gems arranged along the middle finger
Four skull essex crystals with different characters

The really exciting thing about this is that you can share it. I have four delightful little crystal characters ready to go. Because it’s all about remembering and living well, 5% of every sale goes to the Alzheimers Society. Check it out here, or get in touch to find out more. mail@victoriascholes.com

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