How to Look At… A Finger Ring
When we think of an invention we think of something that was created to make human life easier. But there have also been inventions that made human life more enjoyable. One of these creations is jewelry. This in which has brought people a sense of enjoyment. Finger rings come in many shapes, sizes, colours, and materials in which you can gain information by looking at them closely. This can give you information about how old a ring is, the importance, if it belonged to a someone that was considered of high status. They have been made from every substance you can think of, such as, “copper, bronze, iron, steel, ivory, porcelain, glass, amber” (Onahan, 2001) etc. Materials such as silver, gold, platinum are good indications that give us information about a ring as something that was considered more elite. They were found in some of the tombs of ancient civilizations. Many rings now in which are costume jewelry which are made of inexpensive materials. But today we still have many rings that are made from expensive materials that also include diamonds and other gemstones. This can show us someone’s class, status, or even the importance that they might mean to many person(s).
It is said that the “Egyptians started the trend of wearing the wedding ring on the third finger of the left-hand thousands of years ago. As they believed that ‘a love vein’ ran from that finger to the heart” (“Some famous rings through history,” 2005). This tradition is still used today although this is not exclusively done today as many people who wear many rings that are not committed to someone will wear a ring on this finger. During the middle ages “rings engraved with the figures of saints were held in high regard. The most popular stone to be set in a ring was the sapphire. This magical blue stone was attributed with curing eye diseases, and preventing poverty, betrayal or wrongful conviction” (“Brief History of Rings,” 2003). Rings have had a long history with mankind; many of these ideologies have vanished in mainstream culture but some have stayed. One of the main reasons people will get jewelry in western culture is for fashion and marriage. Although there are many types of rings, the most popular in the 20th century is the engagement ring.
(“Different Parts of a Finger Ring ” 2007)
Many rings that were used in the past also are reflecting in this picture, such as some of those that the elite wore. This diagram allows use to work down even to the simplest of rings. We are able to see that almost every ring has a shank and a sizing area. Some remain a simple band whereas others will often have a head. Whether that head has a stone or engraving can be seen. The engravings across different cultures usually had an important meaning on them. Such as ancient rings from Egypt. Rings were not always used for good and enjoyment. “In ancient times, the ring was also a harbinger of doom, the envy of the gods or a bad omen” (Sutherland, 2014) Poison rings were rare but not uncommon. “Not only could they be used on “friends,” but on oneself if the circumstances warranted. Cesare Borgia was noted for his lion ring. The lion’s claws contained a poison that could give a very lethal handshake” (“Brief History of Rings,” 2003). Throughout history there have been many types of rings in which humanity has created a special meaning for. Ring are beautiful, but they also allow us to put ourselves in the perspective of someone’s life at that time. It is interesting to note that each type of ring has changed its meaning over a time.