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circa 1880
A gold and hessonite garnet signet ring engraved with a crowned heart and the motto Doe or Die.

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An Victorian gold and garnet signet ring c.1880, set the to the centre with a shield shape hessonite garnet intaglio, the flat table engraved with a crowned heart beneath a ribbon banner with the motto ‘DOE OR DIE’ engraved on it used by the Douglas clan of Scotland, rub over set within a yellow gold mount with chased shoulders featuring armour-like motifs.
  • OriginScottish
  • Gemstones and Other MaterialsShield shape Hessonite garnet estimated to weigh approximately 4cts
  • Condition ReportSome signs of wear but overall good condition
  • Setting18ct yellow gold
  • Weight description9.7 grams
  • DimensionsUK finger size M, US size 6.5
Directors notes
The crowned heart symbol has been used by the Douglas clan for centuries and is a reference to the bravery of Sir James Douglas who was entrusted by King Robert the Bruce to take his heart on a crusade to the holy land. After his death in 1329, Bruce’s heart was wrapped in lead and placed inside a silver casket which Douglas duly carried with him into battle. Douglas was killed during the fighting in 1330 and both he and Bruce’s heart were returned to Scotland for burial. The motto ‘Doe or Die’ commemorates Bruce’s rallying cry of ‘Let us do or die’ which was immortalised by Robert Burns in his 1793 lyrics to the song ‘Scots Wha Hae’ which he wrote in the form of a speech given by Robert the Bruce before the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.