RENAISSANCE GIMMEL RING WITH RUBY AND EMERALD
Germany, dated 1571
Gold, ruby and emerald
Weight 6.9 gr.; circumference 61.64 mm.; US size 9 ¾; UK size T ¼
Two rounded hoops interlock to form a bezel in the shape of two clasped right hands. Engraved on the palm of one is a heart shape, originally with red enamel. The cuff s with traces of opaque white enamel consist of elaborate scrollwork embedded with two box settings, a table-cut ruby on one side and an emerald on the other. When opened the hoops reveal a German inscription in black enamel: “x WAS x GOT x ZV x SAMEN x FVGET x SOL x KEIN x MINSCHE x SCHEDEN x 1571 x” (What God has joined together, let no man put asunder 1571 [Mark 10:9, Matthew 19:6]). This exceptional ring is called a “gimmel,” from the Latin gemellus for “twin,” referring to the double bezel and double hoop which open to reveal the inscription and the date. The twinning is a reference to two lovers joined in marriage, and the inscription refers to the indissolubility of the marriage vows. The choice of the gemstones likewise underlines the love match – a ruby symbolic of love and an emerald of desire and passion.