On the day Edwin disappeared he carried on him a piece of jewellery beyond his usual belongings of the watch and chain and shirt-pin – Rosa’s mother’s ring, with a ‘rose of diamonds and rubies delicately set in gold’, bestowed to his care by Mr Grewgious. The ring was intended to be used as Rosa’s wedding ring, but after she and Edwin broke their engagement, Edwin decided to hold on to the ring and return it to Grewgious without showing it to Rosa. Mr Dickens believes this decision of young Drood may be significant:
Among the mighty store of wonderful chains that are for ever forging, day and night, in the vast iron-works of time and circumstance, there was one chain forged in the moment of that small conclusion, riveted to the foundations of heaven and earth, and gifted with invincible force to hold and drag.
What then could be the significance of this ring? Only three people knew Edwin had it – himself, Mr Grewgious, and Mr Bazzard. To everyone else, the only items on Drood at the time of his disappearance were the watch and chain and shirt pin, all of which were found later in Cloisterham Weir – but the ring was not. So where is the ring and what role could it play in solving the mystery?