James Yesberger silver animal rings


I have adored the stunning animal rings made by Maine silversmith James Yesberger since the 1980s. I first discovered his work when I lived in the USA in the 1980s. His rings are solid and heavy (about 16 – 20g per ring), which I really like because I like weight and heft on my fingers. Heavy chunky jewellery is not for everyone I know, but I am not a fan of delicate dainty jewellery. One of my rings, bought in India, weighs almost 140g! It is an articulated tiger ring that wraps over the tip of my middle finger and goes all the way back over my knuckles. Not an everyday ring in other words…

My favourite Yesberger rings are the animal ones. He has such a feel for animals – cats in particular – and there are always little extra details on these rings such as cute little kitty paw pads, hippo teeth, fur on the underside of the leopard and (my favourite), a prince on the other side of the frog! Apart from his sleeping cats, his hippos always have such great expressions on their faces!

Unfortunately, because James Yesberger no longer produces rings, they are becoming increasingly rare, harder to find in good condition, and the prices have rocketed.

Here is the frog and prince one. It is my absolute favourite. As I mentioned though, pristine examples are becoming harder to find, and in many cases you find that the prince inside the frog has had all his coat details rubbed off. They are also often missing the artist’s mark and the hallmark.










And some of the other animals.

































And two bracelets, also by Yesberger



Categories: Art, Books, Movies, Television and Music, Jewellery


11 replies

  1. I’ve just stumbled on your blog. This made me run to my jewelry box. And I realized I own one of his rings, the hippo with the open mouth. I bought it on ebay, a couple of years ago, for a couple of $. I don’t think the seller could decipher the hallmark and I just bought it because I like unusual rings. BTW I love your jewelry blog and will read more when I have time. I love large and unusual jewelry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi

    Do you know if Yesberger ever made his rings in bronze?

    I have a ring that is identical to the sleeping cat in your first photo. But it is bronze, and it is not signed. I bought it from a seller at the Ann Arbor Art fair in Michigan, would have been in the mid- to late-80’s. The seller had these rings in both silvertone and bronze (I say silvertone because I don’t know if it was sterling, nickel or what).

    I have tried to find out if mine is an unsigned Yesberger to no avail. To be completely honest, I wish I had bought it in the silvertone because I just don’t wear goldtone, ever. If this were a rare, unsigned bronze Yesberger, I’d almost be willing to ask someone selling it in silver if they would trade!

    Any input as far as the authenticity/history of Yesberger? Would he have ever been selling at a street art fair during that time period? I’d really appreciate some help. Thanks!


    • Yesberger did work in bronze (not sure how often though) and he did sell at fairs and markets in the 1970s. I have a photo somewhere of his work at a market in Baltimore in 1977. I am not sure if his work has always been signed but you never know. Early Pandora charms were not signed by the maker either. You sound like you may have a treasure in your possession!


      • Oh, wow. Thanks for the fast response! I sent a message via his webpage years ago, but he (or whomever handles his website) didn’t reply. I’d be happy to send you a photo if there was a way I could upload or email it to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I just found that he didn’t patent his trademark stamp until 1987. I graduated high school in 1986, and I know I bought my ring before that. Doesn’t mean he wasn’t already USING that signature stamp, but it’s good evidence that I might actually have a genuine, unsigned piece.


        Liked by 1 person

  3. i stumbled on his store in the 80S in Providence town and managed to purchased two of the griffin rings the unicorn which I have 2 a cat ring a frog pin and two signed bracelets which were limited edition of 100 made One is a Gigantic cat which I think is 4 ounces and to big to actually ware on the wrist and the other is a lion bracelet I dont think I paid more than $90 – $125 each. I was going to get that wizard ring and a witch on a broomstick ring but put them back!!! DAM!! I saw the wizard ring above here I have not seen that ring since I would love to buy it if anyone has it. I believe the wizard ring in the store was $90 as was the griffins .If I have known better but as they say who knew? lol Alan Baginski Brooklyn New York

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so happy to have found your website. I own a frog prince ring that I found in a pawn shop. I am not sure what “pristine” condition entails, but all the details on the prince are clear as well as the artist stamp. What is “screamingly expensive”?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful! I’m assuming you own the frog/prince one? What about the others? Any chance of a photograph of the Indian tiger ring? All the very best for 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

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