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The not at all discreet charm of the crazy grandma ring

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 4.44.11 PMNot long ago, my mother was going through her jewelry drawer and came across the ring you see here, which had belonged to my grandmother, and which I surprised myself by loving. It covers a lot of ground, this ring, swirling and coiling well past the knuckle in a shape that—as you can see—at first comes off serpent-ish, but clearly is not a snake. That front-and-center eye makes it clear this is meant to be an animate object of some sort, but what? Some have suggested a figure from Egyptian mythology. One friend is convinced it’s a sloth. I am certain we will never know for sure. What I do know is that this ring has unlocked in me a passion for the kind of  outsize, just-a-little-too-much rings I’ve always admired on others, but have been afraid to try for myself.

critters ring nordstrom

Like this big bold bird. So totally not my thing, and yet suddenly so right up my alley.

hiss havishamThis also has a kind of Grandma’s Jewelry Drawer energy that I can fully get behind.

geode ring

Well, why not wear a little geode-looking thing right on your finger?

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 5.30.19 PM

This one is almost too straightforwardly pretty to fit with today’s theme, but I’m allowing it anyway on account of its awesomeness.

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Posted on October 3rd, 2013 12 Comments

12 Responses

  1. I got my grandfather’s equally awesome WWII bounty – medals, photos, and his diary.

  2. Caroline says:

    I love it. I proudly wear a large gold pinky ring of my mother inlaws
    That started its life as an odd looking brooch. As a pinky ring it totally rocks though!

  3. Jean says:

    It might be a bird, but I think it looks more like a hedgehog.

  4. Meegan says:

    Your Grandma’s ring is a thing of beauty – a conversation piece and completely wearable. Nothing like a good knuckleduster to top off any outfit, even if you’re just walking the dog.

  5. Amanda says:

    Wow! Your grandma’s ring reminds me of my tattoo, which I shamelessly stole from a Siberian mummy featured in National Geographic years ago. The tattoo is of a reindeer or elk, though quite stylized and fanciful. The details in the ring are quite similar– they shape of the eye, the swirling body and antlers. Beautiful!

    Photos the mummy and tattoo here:

  6. jhops says:

    The fact that the ring below the bird one is called “Miss Havisham” makes it even more amazing. I now have a major case of The Wants.

  7. lana says:

    Love your grandmother’s ring. My grandmother was a unfortunately a rather subdued and overly “tasteful” dresser. I don’t think I ever saw her anything but some combination of (gorgeous and yes tasteful) emerald-cut engagement ring and diamond-dotted platinum wedding band, slightly larger solid gold wedding band, pearls, knot or diminutive hoop earrings, tiny gold initial pendant, gold hinged bangle bracelet. I inherited the bangle. It is the thing I am most sick to have somehow lost.

  8. Tara says:

    Love. Big cocktail rings have always been the thing I was known for. I sometimes wonder if, at 47, I should stop calling so much attention to my not so young looking hands, but I can’t seem to quit them. I’ve already had to give up my old lady, librarian style once I realized that I was, in fact, an old lady librarian (literally).

  9. Ashley says:

    I love crazy grandma rings! But wearing them is a different story… I always hesitate 🙂

    The ring is upside down I think. It looks like it’s supposed to be a deer-like animal of some kind with curling horns. The bridge of its nose is touching its tail, and the back leg has a little hoof. It looks like it’s laying down, and instead of creating a front leg that is tucked under the deer, the artist just left it off. What do you think?