Diamond Cartouche


Pronounced (Car-toosh) – a scrolled frame.

Researching the history of jewellery design, this style of ring really stood out to me as something I would like to re-create in my own style.

 Diamond Cartouche - from inspiration to reality Diamond Cartouche – from inspiration to reality

It is a mourning band from the mid 1700’s.  This style of ring was sadly common in those times, and it commemorated a loved one passed.  Each enamelled cartouche has the name, date they died and how old they were when they died.  The inscriptions are a bit hard to understand because there is latin mixed in with the english.

OB:  and then a date –  OB is Latin for Obit – date of death
AE or AET : and then a number  –   Is Latin for Aetatis – age at death

In the picture above AET : 28 means she was only 28 when she died.  Black enamel, commonly associated with death was usually used, but white enamel was also used for children and those who were unmarried.  Isn’t it just heartbreaking?  And so meaningful.

I have a Pinterest board with great pictures of more designs. I’m afraid to post them in case there is a copyright issue.

Follow J M Shelton’s board Enameled Memorial bands on Pinterest

If you are interested in learning more about memorial jewellery, Hayden Peters has a wonderful blog called The Art of Mourning where he goes into great detail about all the symbolism, history and stories behind jewels like this.

My Implementation

I didn’t do any preliminary sketches for this job,  just went straight into CAD with reference to pictures I had downloaded.

 diamond-cartouche-CAD-development diamond-cartouche-CAD-development

 re-creating a mourning ring design in cad re-creating a mourning ring design in cad

Creating the 3D model of this ring was extremely labour intensive, but so rewarding.  I made prototypes in sterling silver and cubic zirconia along the way, to test how everything would come together.  I have made a few changes, so the development took months to complete, but I’m very happy with the final product.


Based on a historic source from the eighteenth century, this design honours the connection between loved ones, past and present.
It’s Rococo styling and sentimental quality make it a charming modern heirloom.


5 scrolled cartouches hold 5 diamonds each.
25 stones = .25ct    F colour / VS clarity

Diamond colour & clarity :
The colour is a nice white “F”
High quality VS grade-  Very Small inclusions.

The band is 3.8mm wide  –  2mm high
Can be made in white, yellow or rose gold – 9ct, 14ct, 18ct

Link to the shop ->

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