Current bid: $1,440.
It’s unclear just where this comes from, or who wore it – but the description on eBay indicates it belonged to someone who took part in the Second Vatican Council:
+ A solid gold Vatican II “Miter ring” inside the old red case as given out to the Cardinals in attendance of the 2nd Vatican Council 50 years ago +
+ The ring can fit any finger size as it can adjust open and closed +
+ The coat of arms inside the ring matches the coat of arms on the top of the case +
+ These are near impossible to find for any amount of money, here we have one in the original old case +
UPDATE: From Gerard Nadal, who dropped me an e-mail:
Following my archivist’s heart, I called and spoke with the proprietor (on eBay). I asked about the ring’s pedigree. The story is that he acquired a number of liturgical items from a motherhouse of women religious somewhere in the Northeast, sold to him as a lot for a confidential sum. Per agreement with the sisters, the identity of the community is confidential. Along with some fourteen tabernacles, the sisters had four of these solid gold rings (one in a case and three without cases). There were also some silver rings of the same style.
As we spoke, the proprietor told me that a monsignor explained to him that all of the cardinals in attendance received a solid gold ring, and that there were between 1,000 and 2,000 of them given out, and that “lesser people” received the silver rings. I think he must have confused cardinals with bishops, as there were about 113 members of the College of Cardinals when JPII was elected.
However, the story doesn’t add much to the pedigree, and instead opens some further questions. How is it that these sisters came by so many of the rings? Was it common for bishops to gift religious communities with the rings?
The proprietor is selling the silver rings for $395 the unboxed gold for ~$800 and the boxed one for at least $1,400.
So, there’s a bit more to add to the intrigue.