A poison ring or pillbox ring is a type of ring with a container under the bezel or inside the bezel itself which could be used to hold poison or another substance, they became popular in Europe during the sixteenth century. The poison ring was used either to slip poison into an enemy's food or drink, or to facilitate the suicide of the wearer in order to preclude capture or torture. They were also used to hide relics of saints and loved ones, like bits of their hair, bone and teeth, which were thought to protect the wearer from various calamities. During the Renaissance, the aristocracy used them to hold cologne, locks of hair, and portraits of loved ones.
This vintage sterling silver poison ring has a low profile, faceted piece of amethyst in the center, size 6.