This 14k gold Tiffany & Co. signet ring carries with it a special history. Circa 1932, it is the class ring of Jean E. Reid, a student at the Emma Willard School—the first women’s higher education institution in the United States. Located in Troy, New York, the school was founded in 1814 with the mission to provide young women with the same higher education as their male peers, including math, science, and language. It provided women with the opportunity to work as teacher’s assistants and to spread women’s education in the United States. The school was the first of its kind—a cutting edge advancement for women’s rights and an unusual institution for the early 19th century.
The ring has the insignia of a coat of arms, topped with the profile of a bird of prey. Underneath it is the school’s motto “GAUDET PATIENTIA DURIS”, translating to “Patience rejoices in adversity”. The year 1932 is engraved along one side of the ring; the other side contains the monogram of the school’s initials, EWS. The ring is beautiful and stylish, with the high quality of a Tiffany & Co. ring, and is a unique and historic version of the much coveted signet ring.
The interior of the ring contains the marks for Tiffany & Co. and 14k. The name Jean E. Reid is also inscribed in a scrolling font. With a bit of research, we were able to locate Jean Reid in the 1932 EWS Yearbook. We also found her obituary, which details some of Jean’s accomplishments during her long life, including a Master’s degree, a career at the New York State Department of Commerce at the State Library, and membership of several literary and professional clubs. She seemed to be an ambitious and highly educated woman ahead of her time!
The ring weighs 12.78 grams. The top measures 5/8” x 1/2”. It is a ring size 4.5
We love the history of this ring—it expresses the lineage of intelligent women who opened doors for subsequent generations of female scholars. We are inspired by Jean and wearing this ring can be a reminder of “patience rejoicing in adversity” and the incredible things that can be accomplished by women.