Our Valentine’s Day presents to each other: poesy rings inscribed with ‘Of my love be sure’ in French.
The original of this 15th century poesy ring can be found at The British Museum, Dept. of Medieval and Modern Europe, London, England.
The original of this ring is enameled gold. The hoop is rounded on the outer edge where it is engraved with an interlaced band between two rows of sprigs. The poesy is engraved in the interior of the ring in period French, though the ring is actually English. French remained the language of the Court and Nobility for several centuries after the Norman Invasion in 1066.
Poesy (n): A short poem or sentiment decoratively inscribed on rings or jewelry, particularly in the Middle Ages – usually a romantic gift or token of friendship.
Tradition has it that words which touch the skin have a particular power. Poesy Rings were traditionally given in sterling silver as engagement rings, and then replaced with the same ring in gold upon marriage.