History of Rings
- Rings have symbolic functions such as representing marriage, achievement, status, and authority.
- Rings can be made from various materials like metal, wood, stone, or plastic.
- Gemstones like diamond, ruby, sapphire, and emerald can be set on rings.
- Rings can be used to sport insignia or conceal small items.
- Rings have been worn as ornaments since ancient times.
- Rings and other jewelry have been discovered from the Indus Valley civilization.
- Factories producing small beads have been found in Lothal, India.
- Ancient Indians wore rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, bangles, and pendants.
- Rings were made from various materials like metal, stone, and glass.
- Ancient Indian jewelry dates back to the 3rd millennium BC.
- Rings have been found in tombs in Ur dating back to around 2500 BC.
- The Hittite civilization produced rings, including signet rings.
- Rings were worn in Old Kingdom Egypt, with examples like the scarab design.
- Rings became more common during the Egyptian Middle Kingdom.
- Egyptians made rings from materials like metal and faience.
- Archaic Greek rings were influenced by Egyptian rings but were less substantial.
- Rings made in eastern colonies were often silver or bronze, while Etruscans used gold.
- The classical period saw a shift towards silver and gold rings with lozenge bezel mountings.
- The bezel design gradually became more circular over time.
- Greek rings had intaglio devices embedded in the bezel.
- Roman rings during the early and middle imperial era had a thick hoop tapering into a bezel.
- Oval gems were embedded within the bezel, rising slightly above the ring material.
- Roman rings became more elaborate in the third and fourth centuries AD.
- Some Roman rings are known as Henig II and III/Guiraud 2.
- Roman rings were made from various materials like gold, silver, and bronze.
Ring Location and Symbolism
- The fourth finger of the left hand is commonly used for betrothal, engagement, and wedding rings.
- The fourth finger was associated with the 'vein of love' connected to the heart.
- Rings have been worn on bracelets or necklaces as a repurposing.
- The signet ring is traditionally worn on the left pinky or little finger.
- Birthstone rings are customarily worn on the first finger of the right hand.
- Carved cameo rings were commonly worn by men and depicted pagan gods, Christian saints, and self-portraits.
- Multi-colored stone, marble, or porphyry was desirable for a striped or layered effect.
- Ancient Roman soldiers and goddesses are often depicted on modern cameo rings.
- Giardinetti rings were popular in the 18th century and featured an openwork bezel with small stones.
- Portrait rings with small portraits were common in the 17th century.
- Claddagh rings are traditionally used to indicate romantic availability and are now commonly worn as wedding rings.
- Eternity rings symbolize eternal partnership and are sometimes given instead of engagement rings.
- Memento mori rings from the 16th to 17th centuries featured a skull and the inscription 'Memento Mori' (Remember Death).
- Purity rings symbolize virginity and a vow to keep it in some religious cultures.
- Puzzle rings are interlocking rings forming a single band, such as the classic Cartier Trinity wedding ring.
- Championship rings are given to members of winning teams in professional sports leagues and college tournaments.
- Doctoral rings are worn by scholars who earn a doctoral degree at Danish or Swedish universities.
- Ecclesiastical rings are religious rings worn by clerics or as special religious symbols.
- Iron rings are worn by American and Canadian engineers after swearing the Engineers Oath.
- Signet rings bear family coat of arms or initials and can be used to imprint a wax seal.
Rings for Relationships
- Engagement rings are given to women to signify their engagement to be married.
- Mothers rings are worn by mothers and display the birthstones of their children.
- Pre-engagement rings are small, inexpensive rings given to signify the promise not to court anyone else.
- Promise rings are worn to remind a person of a promise, often representing a vow or commitment.
- Wedding rings are exchanged during marriage ceremonies to symbolize the union of two people.
- Cocktail rings are oversized ladies rings with a large center stone surrounded by tiny stones.
- Eye rings, also known as Lovers eye rings, became popular in 1784 when the Prince Regent fell for Maria Fitzherbert.
- Guard rings are slender rings worn after a large ring to prevent slippage and loss.
- Mood rings change color in response to body temperature using a thermochromic liquid crystal.
- Poison rings have a compartment and were used to hold perfume or romantic keepsakes.
Ring (jewellery) Data Sources