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Mid Victorian Grape & Vine Montana Gold Signet Ring


Mid Victorian Grape & Vine Montana Gold Signet Ring



DATE: Victorian, c.1890

Fantastic Victorian signet ring crafted in "Montana Gold" (stamped under the head). While Montana is best known today for it's striking Yogo sapphires - first discovered in 1895 - there was a Montana gold rush during the latter half of the 19th century, attracting some of the same prospectors, miners, outlaws, and general degenerates who had taken part in the infamous California gold rush earlier in the century. Towns were established near important seams (Bannack, Virginia City being two of the more important settlements), and word quickly spread of new discoveries. The rush began in earnest in 1862, and by the end of the following year local residents, fed up of the rampant violence and in the wake of over 100 murders on the road between Virginia City and Bannack alone, formed the "Montana Vigilantes". Covering their faces with bandanas, the group would visit suspected gang members in the middle of the night and threaten revenge if the killings continued. They managed to bring relative peace and justice to the area, apparently, hanging around 25 men including notorious ringleader Henry Plummer (whose involvement is actually questioned by historians... it's thought that he may have been scapegoated by certain members of the Vigilantes who were indulging in violence on both sides...).

The ring dates from the 1890s, beautifully rendered in high karat gold and featuring high relief two-tone grape and vine motifs to the shoulders. It's quite possible that it was made in one of the mining towns, as it was common for jewellers to live and work in these settlements throughout the US (South Dakota, California etc). The shield shaped head is engraved with the initials MC.


Head: 11.2 x 9.7mm

Width of band: 4.7mm




Stamped MONTANA GOLD (tests as minimum 14k gold)


Very good, with fine antique patina


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