Mourning jewelry was a popular way for affluent women to memorialize a loved one in the eighteenth century. Individuals often provided funding in their wills for family members and friends to have rings, brooches and other items made. Family history suggests this ring was worn by Martha Washington. It may have honored the memory of her nephew George Augustine Washington, who died in 1793. In his will he bequeathed: "to my Aunt Martha Washington … a ring of 5 Guineas value to be wrought with some of my hair in token of my affectionate remembrance." More


c. 1770-1802


  • Possibly made - England
  • Possibly made - United States
  • Possibly retailed - United States
  • Possibly retailed - England


Gold, pearl, crystal, human hair, paper


Overall: 5/8 in. x 1/2 in. x 3/4 in. (1.59 cm x 1.27 cm x 1.91 cm)


Gift of Gertrude Hunt Knox, 1954

Object Number



Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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