Denoting divorce by notches

The always amusing, always engaging Modern Mechanix blog tells about some interesting personal appearance information from the 1920s:

Many women in England, who have been divorced from their husbands, continue to wear the wedding ring, but have a fracture cut in it by a jeweler, as an indication of that fact. Those who have parted from more than one husband have notches to indicate the number made in the edge of the gold band, it is said.

Go to the post to take a look at the fractured ring (indicating the broken marriage. I do not remember reading about these notched rings in any novel; would be interesting to see if somebody at some point wrote “She wore a broken ring” or, “She wore a broken ring with n notches”.


6 Responses to “Denoting divorce by notches”

  1. Charlene Says:

    It’s more likely a photo of someone who had their ring cut off for whatever reason. That happens from time to time – edema of pregnancy, weight gain, or the ring just won’t come off and it needs to.

  2. Guru Says:

    Dear Charlene,

    Thanks for the comment; many commentators at the Modern Mechanix blog have made similar comments too. In the event, it is no wonder that there is no mention of it in any literary work from/of that period, I guess.

  3. Charlene Says:

    Quite true, although the comments there that a divorce would have been “shameful” are more in line with what would have been thought among middle-class Americans. Among the well-off in England (and you’d have to be well-off to be able to afford a divorce in 1920s England), it was often considered chic and even a bit daring.

  4. Guru Says:

    Dear Charlene,

    That is interesting; I did not know that it was fashionable to be divorced in 1920s England!

  5. Silvia Says:

    Where can I purchase such a ring?

  6. Guru Says:

    Dear Silivia,

    From this piece, I understand that pawn shop owners in North Carolina can locate one for you And, you can buy one online as well, of course 🙂


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