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Description

(a) First World War (or Patriotic) Iron Ring with Inscription
"GOLD GAB ICH FÜR EISEN"
Germany, 1914
Outer diameter 24 mm., width of band 7 mm.
Weight 5.9 gr., US size 11.25, UK size W

(b) First World War (or Patriotic) Iron Ring with a Cross
and Inscription "Gold gab ich für Eisen"
Austro-Hungarian Empire or Germany, 1914
Outer diameter 21 mm., width of band 6 mm.
Weight 4.2 gr., US size 7.75, UK size P 1/2

(c) First World War (or Patriotic) Iron Ring "Gold gab ich
für Eisen"
Austro-Hungarian Empire, 1919
Outer diameter 20 mm., width of band 7 mm.
Weight 3.6 gr., US size 6.5, UK size N

(d) First World War (or Patriotic) Iron Ring with Inscription
"Gold gab ich für Eisen"
Austro-Hungarian Empire, 1919
Outer diameter 21 mm., width of band 8 mm.
Weight 4 gr., US size 7, UK size O

Just as wedding rings mark the commitment and regard their wearers cherish for their partners, so too may rings signal devotion, and even sacrifice, to God or country. The present group of rings also mark their wearers' devotions to a cause, in this case the cause of patriotism. The people who wore them gave their time and money as sacrifice, foregoing personal gain for the sake of their countries. These iron rings memorialize the personal sacrifice, dedication, and patriotism offered up during World War I (1914-1918) by the citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany, whether reluctantly or willingly. These rings were mass-produced and their symbolism varied according to their function. The Iron Cross, a medal given to soldiers for bravery, became a symbol of the desire for freedom and the unity of the Empire. Dates and symbols on these jewels could also commemorate specific wartime events, and they might even incorporate parts from artillery shells in the designs.

R-658

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