A ring is a circular band which is worn on the finger and can be crafted out of various materials. For many of us – upon hearing the word ring – we automatically think of wedding rings. This is probably because it is one of the most frequently used rings among both men and women today.
Handcrafted rings are believed to have originated around 5000 years ago. The first rings were most likely invented by the ancient Egyptians and constructed of reeds, hemp or grass. These woven rings were gifted to wives as a sign of her husband’s confidence in her ability to keep his house in order. Eventually - as other techniques and tools were invented - rings were created using other materials. At this time rings were carved of bone, wood, shells and stone
During the middle ages rings were worn by almost everyone. Though few could afford the luxury of gold – iron, copper and silver were a suitable substitute. Goldsmiths used hand engraving to decorate and inscribe metalwork. In the beginning these metal handmade rings did not include gemstones. It actually wasn’t until the 14th century that faceted gems were set into rings.
Handmade designer jewelry such as rings, earrings, pendants and bracelets were a sign of wealth and power. Rings also contained certain gemstones that were believed to protect the wearer during battle, bring good luck, guard against illnesses, and a variety of other things. Rings also gave clues as to a person’s heritage; as well as their religious or political affiliations.
A ring can be a symbol of many things – commitment, friendship, family/heritage, religion, an accomplishment, a promise, a mood, a loss, and a number of other things.
There are also many shape and styles of rings; a few of these include the:
Anniversary Ring – is a ring which is presented as a gift, to commemorate a milestone anniversary such as five year or ten year. Often times the each stone in the band will represent one year of marriage.
Cluster Ring – is a ring with a grouping of stones. There might be one large stone in the center with several smaller ones surrounding it, several stones of varying sizes, or a group of stones that are same size but are staggered or stair-stepped to create and interesting design.
Dinner Ring – is a large cluster ring which usually includes non-precious or semi-precious stones.
Eternity Ring – is a ring with stones that go all the way around the band to symbolize eternity with a partner.
Mother’s Ring – is a ring which displays birthstones for each of the mother’s children and sometimes even grandchildren. This is often times a gift given to a mother from her family.
Mourning Ring – a ring worn in memory of a lost loved one.
Puzzle Ring – is a ring made up of several bands which interlock to form a single band. Once the ring is removed and the bands are separated it is very difficult to put back together.
Signet Ring – is a familial ring which often contains a coat of arms. Some signet rings are personalized with a monogram engraved on the front.
Solitaire Ring – A ring set with a single stone, which is commonly given as an engagement ring.
Wedding Bands – used to represent marriage and a perpetual reminder of a lifelong commitment.
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