Not a dug artifact, but lovingly preserved, this lovely little handcrafted gutta percha ring, certainly from the 1860s , is very much in the style of Confederate prisoner of war rings from Johnson's Island and other Union prisons. It features what I believe (untested) is a coin silver hand and heart motif and has a very early brass? Sizing repair to the back. It is missing one of the brass studs but is secure.
It's been suggested to me that it might be a mourning ring, but I think it's just as likely it was a sentimental gift from the front, perhaps to a sweetheart back home. While I have no documentation as to its POW background, I bought it from a reputable Civil War dealer and do believe it to be a likely prisoner of war handicraft. Here's a whole box of such handmade rings, every one just slightly different. Really unique little treasure - very sweet and delicate.
Very lightweight, tiniest fleabites from age to gutta percha, a bit of dulling in the rubber near the early repair, and the only structural defect is a slight lift on the repair where the one rivet is missing. Getting scarcer and scarcer, and the craftsmanship on this one is excellent. The item "1860 Civil War era gutta percha sweetheart or mourning ring, Confederate POW" is in sale since Monday, September 10, 2018. This item is in the category "Jewelry & Watches\Vintage & Antique Jewelry\Fine\Victorian, Edwardian 1837-1910\Rings".The seller is "gormer99" and is located in Litchfield Park, Arizona. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Sweden, Belgium, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi arabia, United arab emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa rica, Panama, Trinidad and tobago, Guatemala, El salvador, Honduras, Jamaica.