Antique Rings Discovered by Retirees Perform Well at Auction

AuctionsMar 15, 2023

Antique Rings Discovered by Retirees Perform Well at Auction

A 17th-century gold seal ring and an 18th-century memento mori ring met or exceeded estimates at a recent Noonans auction.

20230310_Noonans header.jpg
This 17th-century gold seal ring (left) and 18th-century memento mori ring, both discovered by U.K. retirees, hit the auction block at Noonans in London Tuesday.
London—There was something extra special about the “Jewellery, watches, and objects of vertu” auction held at Noonans in London Tuesday.

Two antique rings that hit the auction block were discovered by surprise by retired men in the U.K.

In November 2012, retired schoolteacher Richard McCaie, then 71, was landscaping in the garden of his 16th-century farmhouse in the English village of Braunton when he found a 17th-century ring, buried about 10 inches deep in the ground.

“The ring dates from 1620 and very likely belonged to Humphrey Cockeram of Cullompton in Devon. The ring bears a seal with the coat of arms of the Cockeram family and the initials ‘H C’ behind,” said Nigel Mills, a consultant on artifacts and antiquities at Noonans.

This gold seal ring from around 1620 sold for £12,000 ($14,300) at auction.

The flat oval bezel of the ring features a coat of arms, which includes a square-topped shield inscribed with three leopards’ heads and three fleurs-de-lis.

Above the shield is a crest with an arm holding an anchor and a leaf design on either side. The entire design is encircled by a pellet border.

The gold seal ring sold for £12,000 ($14,300), meeting the high end of its £8,000-£12,000 ($9,500-$14,300) estimate.

McCaie said he planned to use the proceeds from the sale to help his children.

 Related stories will be right here … 

In 2022, retired civil servant David Nicklin, then 65, was using his metal detector in a field in the Vale of Glamorgan in the southeastern part of Wales.

In the newly plowed ground, he discovered a memento mori ring from the 1700s.

This 18th-century memento mori ring, discovered by retiree David Nicklin, sold at auction for £7,000 ($8,520).

“The ring has a coffin-shaped rock crystal inset into the bezel and is dated on the inside 28th Jan 1730 with the name ‘eliz tucker aged 65’ and inscribed with ‘Memento Mori,’ which translates as ‘remember thy death,’” said Noonans consultant Mills.

“Worn on the little finger, they were a reminder to the wearer to live a life without sin as they will be held accountable in death. This was the height of fashion in the early 18th century,” he added.

The ring sold for £7,000 ($8,520), exceeding its initial estimate of £3,000-£4,000 ($3,500 to $4,700).

Nicklin said he and his wife planned to use the proceeds to buy new carpets.

The buyers of these rings were both located in the U.K., said a spokesperson.

The top lot of the auction was a 10.13-carat fancy light yellow brilliant-cut solitaire diamond ring, which sold for £80,000 ($97,400), exceeding its £40,000-50,000 ($48,700 to $60,900) pre-sale estimate.

For full auction results, visit the Noonans’ website.

The Latest

Entrance to Jwaneng diamond mine in Botswana
SourcingOct 02, 2023
De Beers, Botswana One Step Closer to Finalizing Agreement

The two have signed “heads of terms” for the tentative 10-year sales agreement they reached in June.

Ali Weiss jewelry store and piercing studio in Roslyn, New York
IndependentsOct 02, 2023
There’s a New Piercing Studio on Long Island

Ali Weiss Jewelry has opened its second store in Roslyn, New York.

Ashley Kets
Events & AwardsOct 02, 2023
WJA Foundation Awards First Helene Fortunoff Scholarship

A New Hampshire store manager is the inaugural recipient of the grant for up-and-coming women in retail.

Brought to you by
Top 5 Ways to Promote Safety and Security Awareness Among Your Staff

Awareness is essential to proactive protection. Learn how to promote and maintain safety and security awareness in your business.

Lorraine West Nipple Collection jewelry
CollectionsOct 02, 2023
Lorraine West’s New Collection Points to the Power of Women

Available exclusively at Greenwich St. Jewelers, the “Nipple Collection” will benefit Living Beyond Breast Cancer.

Weekly QuizSep 29, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
Graphic for My Next Question episode on lab-grown diamonds
Recorded WebinarsSep 29, 2023
The Lab-Grown Diamond Market: Where Are We Now?

Watch as Edahn Golan, Sherry Smith and Avi Levy join Michelle Graff to talk pricing and trends in this controversial corner of the market.

692-carat rough diamond from the Karowe Mine
SourcingSep 29, 2023
Lucara Severs Ties With HB Antwerp

The two companies initially partnered during the pandemic and had just signed a 10-year sales agreement in November 2022.

Dialog Solutions
Brought to you by
A Conversation with Dialog Solutions

Do you always want the right diamonds at the right price in your store? Introducing Dialog, the world’s first diamond subscription service.

Sonya K. Taylor diamond tennis necklace with tourmaline drop
CollectionsSep 29, 2023
Piece of the Week: Sonya K’s Versatile Necklace

A classic diamond tennis necklace gets a whole lot cooler with a removable pendant.

Columbia Gem House Woz Cuts
EditorsSep 28, 2023
The Gemstone World Is In Its Unique Cut Era

Associate Editor Lauren McLemore recently spoke with Columbia Gem House’s Eric Braunwart about the uptick in non-traditional gemstone cuts.

Pre-Owned Luxury by Rocksbox logo
MajorsSep 28, 2023
Signet-Owned Rocksbox Now Sells Pre-Owned Fine Jewelry

“Pre-Owned Luxury by Rocksbox” offers secondhand jewelry from Kay, Zales, and Jared to members and non-members.

Gold Roman Bracelet from the British Museum
CrimeSep 28, 2023
Have You Seen Jewels Like These? The British Museum Wants to Know

The museum is asking for the public’s help in finding thousands of pieces of ancient gold jewelry and gemstones stolen from a storeroom.

Pam Waclawski The Kingswood Company
MajorsSep 28, 2023
The Kingswood Co. Names New VP, Wins Award

The company was recognized for one of its private-label, consumer-focused jewelry care lines.

Stock image of rough diamonds from De Beers
SourcingSep 27, 2023
India Calls for 2-Month Moratorium on Rough Diamond Imports

The plea comes against a backdrop of declining demand and falling prices.

Hands pushing a shopping cart
SurveysSep 27, 2023
Consumer Confidence Falls in September Amid Rising Recession Fears

Shoppers also expressed concern about rising prices, higher interest rates, and political uncertainty.

   Platinum Guild International logo
Events & AwardsSep 27, 2023
PGI to Dole Out $500K in Business Grant Program

Participants from the first round of grants saw up to a 900 percent increase in their platinum sales.

Citizen Tsuki-yomi A-T moon phase watch
WatchesSep 26, 2023
Citizen Launches the Tsuki-Yomi A-T Timepiece

According to the watchmaker, it features the first light-powered atomic timekeeping moon phase movement.

Sally Nelson Exclusively Diamonds
IndependentsSep 26, 2023
Sally Nelson, Founder of Exclusively Diamonds, Dies at 86

The former teacher, described as “a pioneer for women-owned businesses,” opened her own jewelry store in 1980.

Crescendo, a 147.96-carat golden citrine by John Dyer for Somewhere In The Rainbow
Events & AwardsSep 26, 2023
2023 Spectrum Awards Entry Deadline Extended

The contest is now open for submissions until Oct. 10.

Instore show logo
Events & AwardsSep 26, 2023
Instore Announces Dates for 2024 Show

The annual event will return to Rosemont, Illinois next August.

Gold holiday gift boxes
SurveysSep 26, 2023
Mastercard Makes Its 2023 Holiday Prediction

According to SpendingPulse, retail sales will increase in November and December but not necessarily for jewelers.

Stock image of hands in handcuffs
CrimeSep 25, 2023
Oregon Jeweler Accused of Selling Lab-Grown Diamonds as Natural

Police say Douglas Wayne Gamble also swapped natural diamonds for synthetic stones and failed to return customers’ repairs.

Neil Lane lab-grown diamond engagement rings for Kay Jewelers
CollectionsSep 25, 2023
Neil Lane’s Latest Collection Uses Lab-Grown Diamonds

The designer just launched a new bridal range at Kay Jewelers.

Yunjo Lee
MajorsSep 25, 2023
Hearts On Fire Taps Mejuri Exec as CCO

Yunjo Lee has also worked on collections for Tiffany & Co. with Paloma Picasso and Frank Gehry.

Steve Levine of Sylvie Jewelry
MajorsSep 25, 2023
Second Generation Takes On New Roles at Sylvie Jewelry

Steve Levine joins the family-owned company, while his brother Gary has a new position.

David Yurman Paris flagship
MajorsSep 22, 2023
David Yurman Alleges These Two Companies Copied Its Designs

The company has filed complaints against Royal Chain and Samuel B.

Yun Yun Sun toi et moi diamond Puzzle ring
TrendsSep 22, 2023
Piece of the Week: Yun Yun Sun’s ‘Puzzle’ Ring

The two-stone style benefits from two-toned metal.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy

Additionally, paste this code immediately after the opening  tag: