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Still unsure of ring heritage all these years later
by: Emily

Years since first writing to you about my platinum ring, inherited from my nanna who is still living but in care and unable to offer information about the ring's origins at age 103, I find myself still googling for information and have found this same page during my search! I lost all history of my original question years ago and have never seen your reply until now. Thank you for taking the time to look into this ring for me.
I don't know of Scottish heritage but that doesn't mean there isn't any. Once your family move all the way to Australia the history of your family tends to become very limited to what people here remember and tell others, and that seems to be very limited in our case.. All I know is my nanna (nee Adams) was born in 1913 in London, and her husband (Pegrum) was born in Norfolk in 1908. They were married in 1936 in London, and moved to Singapore for work until the Japanese invasion when they returned to London. They immigrated to Australia for work in 1948.
Nanna and her husband, my pop, were not from wealthy families and I recall many stories from my nanna about the tough streets in London and her family being poor after her father died when she was a newborn. So if this ring cost much money back then it is likely to either have been a much saved for item, or gifted to them. Perhaps even found!
I'm still incredibly interested in knowing more about this ring. I wear it on my finger every day to remind me of my nanna who lives in the other side of this vast country of ours.
Thanks again so much!

Re Comments
by: Emily

Hello, Wow! Your info is so amazing!
Yes, my grandparents actually caught the boat to Australia in 1940. They were English and lived in London, but also moved to Singapore. With Scotland being in such close proximity there is every chance that one of my great or great-grandmothers could have been from Scotland or purchased the ring there.

I had wondered if it could have been a ring handed down, but with nanna being 97 years old and unable to remember much anymore I've no one to ask. They're all either in the UK or have passed on.

Thankyou so much for your information, it is remarkable and I would love to know anything more if you can think of it. Wow, a lot of history could be in that ring. Wow, what a suprise!

Ker & Dempster
by: Anonymous

Hi Emily thanks for writing in with the following hallmark question:

"My mum recently gave me my nanna's jewellery box and in the contents was a plain platinum ring. I asked my mum if it was nanna's or pop's and she said she didn't know, but she thought that she heard that one of them had a cheap wedding band replaced and that this might be the cheaper one.

I thought nothing of it, but being the sentimentalist I am, I would like to wear it for my own wedding band in 18 days time. It is therefore important to me to find out it's origins - if it couldn't possibly have been either of theirs then I won't wear it.
It is plain, silver-colour, quite heavy (which is what made me look closely at it). Inside is stamped:
There is no other marking. I expect that this is not a valuable ring, however I'm interested in the K&D and what it means...
Thanks, Emily "

First off, Emily congratulations on your wedding coming up very shortly! This wedding band is interesting. The following maker used the K & D mark:

Ker & Dempster (Silver & Gold Smiths, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) - ca 1740s - 1770s

However Platinum although discovered in the 16th century was very little used until the late 1800s. The reason being there wasn't a torch hot enough that had been invented before the 1800s to work with platinum as it is very dense and hard. It was very popular from 1900 to the 1930s. If the ring is an original Ker & Dempster it would be rare indeed as platinum was hardly ever used during the 1700s for the reasons stated above.

You mentioned your mum thought she had one of the rings replaced and I think your mum might be right. One possibility is a K&D antique wedding ring handed down to your grandmother and a platinum band many years later was preferred and hence made up as a replacement ring using Platinum. As mentioned in the early 1900s Platinum was at the height of fashion. It would be interesting to know Emily if you have any Scottish ancestry?

best wishes,
Yvonne Hammouda-Eyre
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