STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN'S
GOLD COIN RINGS
Janna recalls that Stevie was looking for coin rings while at Windsor Castle near London in the fall of 1986. Both coins are British sovereigns. Gold sovereigns were first made in 1489 (yes, over 500 years ago) with a value of one pound sterling. The obverse (front) design shows the reigning monarch, or sovereign, from which the coin originally got its name. In 1816 a new reverse design was introduced featuring St. George slaying a dragon, designed by Italian engraver Benedetto Pistrucci. St. George is the patron saint of England, and was an early Christian martyr. The story goes that George rescued a middle-eastern king's daughter from a dragon in return for a promise that the king's subjects would be baptized and converted to Christianity. This reverse design appears on gold sovereigns to this day, although it has not been a continuous appearance. Some of the Victorian coins described below had what is referred to as the "shield back." Click on the coin below to see Pistrucci's reverse design.
Stevie's right hand ring bears the above design, and is a 1904 coin.
Queen Victoria began her reign in 1837. The sovereign on the coin on Stevie's left hand is one of two similar designs. The first (below left) was made from 1838 until 1870 (the shield back), the second (below right) from 1871 until 1887 (the return of Pistrucci's design on the reverse). I have not found a photo of Stevie's ring that is clear enough to determine which of these versions it is. The obvious distinctions are that the first has the date on the obverse, and much less writing around the edge. Click on the coins for a larger image.
Above is Stevie's left hand ring. Click on the ring for a larger image
Where are they now? To my knowledge, Jimmie Vaughan still has the two coin rings.
Where can I get a similar one? Most coin, gold bullion and jewelry dealers.
Thanks to Janna, Kelly, Lisa and Beverly for their help on the coins.