A Medieval stirrup ring set with a cabochon sapphire.
English, 13/14th century.
Ring size S UK / 9 US.
The bezel measures 0.6 x 0.6cm.
Weighs 2 grams.
During the Middle Ages, gemstones were often associated magical and protective properties that they were believed to possess. Gemstones could protect against evil or poisons as well as heightening the individuals’ characteristics and strengths. Sapphires were frequently worn by Bishops and other Clergy due to their ability to promote it’s bearer’s chastity and piety. Sapphires were believed to be able to change colour if the wearer acted sinfully or lacked faith, it was because of this belief that jewels set with sapphires were worn as as symbols of honesty and devout faith.
For a similar example see the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Accession number: 639-1871.
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