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What Is a Poesy Ring?

A poesy ring is a simple gold band inscribed with a brief phrase, sentiment, or poem on the outer surface or rarely within the inner surface. A poesy ring is also called a "posy," "posey," or "posie" love ring. The poesy ring was once used as a token of love, wedding band, or means of expressing regard. The poesy ring first originated in England and France during the 15th century and carried on through the 16th and 17th centuries. Joan Evans, daughter of a 19th century poesy ring collector, bequeathed a collection to London's Victoria and Albert Museum. Evans also wrote a book entitled "English Posies and Posy Rings."

Most poesy rings were inscribed with French, Latin, and English phrases on the inside of the ring. During the 16th century, the phrases began to be inscribed within the ring.

Phrases from poesy rings include the following and many others in their original writing:
"never to change"
"love is enough"
"hope is the life of love"
"yours onli"
"all I refuse and thee I chuse"
"faithles to none yet faithful to one"
"forget me not"
"in they brest my heart doth rest"
"no joy compared to hart's content"
"many are the starrs I see but in my eye no starr like thee"
"dear love of mine my heart is thine"
"A Frindes gift"
"A true friends gift"
"A Vertuous wife preserueth life"
"X AMICVS x TVVS I Love You"
"As God decreed soe wee agreed"
"Be true in Harte"
"Bee firme in faith"
"Better Neuer than not euer"
"Contiew Faythfull"
"God above increase our love"
"In thy sight is my delight"
"No riches like content"

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