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Omani Part-Gilded Silver Ring (al-Hysa)

Nizwa, Northern Oman
early 20th century

bezel: 2cm x 2cm, weight: 10.74g, ring size: 8 3/4 (US) & R/S (UK)



private collection, London

This very attractive ring is of solid silver. The face or bezel is square and chased. Five small gilded (gold-plated) plaques have been applied to the bezel in a chequer-board design. The wear to the gilding has softened the gold colour so that it has a pleasing hue and contrasts well with the silver of the rest of the ring. The process of part-gilding was known in northern Oman as rishsh.

Traditionally, this ring was worn by a woman on her middle finger (although some sources say it was also worn on the ‘ring’ finger next to the little finger) and is known as an al-hysa ring.

The applied cold plaques suggest it was made in Nizwa, Oman’s old capital in the interior.

It is stable and very wearable.


Kanawati, N., et al, Nizwa and Sohar 30 Years Ago: A Glimpse of the Past, 2003.

Rajab, J.S., Silver Jewellery of Oman, Tareq Rajab Museum, 1998.

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