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In the permanent collection of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, there is a quartet of rings dating back to the 1400s. The first three are each engraved with a word in French on the exterior so that when stacked, the engravings read, “Think of me” and the fourth one is simply engraved with a heart. These rings, meant to be worn together at all times so that their romantic message is not altered are famous as “poesy” or “posy” rings. The name is derived from the French word poésie and they were very trendy in medieval times as a way to express love or friendship, or even to send a secret message.
Now, one modern jewelry brand is reviving this centuries-old tradition and in the process giving its customers the freedom to create their own personal messages.
Monica Rich Kosann, whose collections include stylish interpretations of lockets and other talismans, is launching a line today of beautiful poesy rings allowing wearers to mix, match, inscribe, and stack their way to the ultimate personalized jewelry experience.
There are 19 different designs and words to choose from among which “courage,” “carpe diem,” “one of a kind,” and our favorite “queen bee.”
“I love taking things from history and making them modern so I created a new take on the poesy rings where every ring tells a different story and has a unique engraving in it that is either empowering or positive about love, devotion, encouragement, perseverance, and never fearing the future,” the designer told Departures.
The delicate rings are crafted from 18-karat gold and silver and feature other precious accents such as diamonds, pearls, and tsavorites.
To celebrate the launch, the designer teamed up with one of the coolest and most talented illustrators right now, the Brooklyn-based Amber Vittoria, who has previously worked on projects for Gucci, Warby Parker, Rimowa, and Le Bon Marché.
“I have always admired the strength, bold use of color, and graphic artistry of Amber Vittoria’s illustrations,” said Kosann. The collaboration includes three commissioned illustrations that are inspired by three of the poesy rings: Unity, The Time is Now, and Breathe.
“I love how poesy jewelry has a specific story and emotion linked to each piece; similar to visual art, these specific stories and feelings allow viewers and jewelry adorners to see themselves within the work,” Vittoria said. “I would say my favorite piece is Unity, as it serves as a personal reminder that the collection is very meaningful.”
Vittoria is referring to the fact that the brand is donating fifty percent of the proceeds on the sales of the “Unity” Poesy Stackable Ring to Embrace Race, an organization committed to “raising a generation of children who are thoughtful, informed, and brave about race.”