Emporium volunteer delves into the history of the rings in a new book
By Mike Cook
Verlaine Davies’ book “Rings: 1800-1910, A Study of English and Related Designs” contains photos and information about rings that were popular with men and women in England in the 19and and early 20and century.
It’s a unique subject that Davies knows well. She is originally from Britain and a lifelong New Mexican. She has been one of the volunteers who have run The Emporium gift shop in downtown Las Cruces for three and a half years.
Davies has also been collecting and researching rings for decades.
Her collection — and her book — includes engagement, wedding, and guardian rings; memorial and historical rings; and mourning rings; as well as a section entitled “Maintenance, precautions and repairs”; and a comprehensive glossary that defines everything from “acrostic” (fashionable 1810-75 gemstone rings) to “zircon” (a natural gemstone that comes in a variety of colors). The glossary defines many styles of rings and gemstones and even gives a brief biography of Queen Victoria (reigned: 1837-1901), who “had a great love for jewellery”.
“A ring was the most cherished object in the entire sphere of jewelry, and no other piece of jewelry has been used to convey such a variety of feelings,” Verlaine said in the introduction to her book. “Men, as well as women, wore rings – signet, wedding, mourning, decorative and others – but it is in women’s rings that the greatest variety of styles and fashions is evident.”
You can contact Verlaine at The Emporium, 106 S. Water St. Call 575-523-8078.