Rings were very popular in ancient times and in the Middle Ages. Rings were originally made of bone, wood and stones (e.g. amber). Later, materials such as bronze, iron, precious metals and glass were also used. Throughout cultural history, many different meanings for rings developed. However, the oldest known rings are more than 21,000 years old and were made of mammoth ivory.
What was the meaning of a medieval ring?
Finger rings were popular pieces of jewelry for the upper class both in the European Middle Ages and in antiquity. Medieval rings were also used during the High Middle Ages - and probably in antiquity - as symbols of love and fidelity at engagements, marriages, or important milestones. They usually contained an inscription referring to the relationship between the two parties who exchanged the rings as a symbol of their commitment and affection for each other. In some cases, these inscriptions ranged from a simple phrase or word of devotion to more elaborate designs that included multiple elements. In the early modern period, they were also increasingly worn as personal memorial or wedding rings. In the Middle Ages, there were special protection and healing rings, for example, setting a toad stone. This custom continued beyond the Renaissance.
What else could a medieval ring be used for?
In addition to their symbolic function, medieval rings could also be used as a means of payment. In particular, they were exchanged between merchants to facilitate transactions with other merchants or customers. This could be done in the context of an exchange of goods, services or money.
Rings were also used to seal documents and contracts, providing an additional layer of security to the parties involved in a transaction. For thousands of years, signet rings have been a symbol of power and authority. Motifs on the rings ranged from initials and monograms to family crests, craftsman's marks, picture puzzles, and heraldic symbols.
What medieval rings we have in our assortment?
- Celtic ring
- Viking Ring
- Anglo-Saxon ring
- Medieval engagement ring
- Magyar Ring
- Spiral ring
- Animal shaped ring
What materials are our medieval rings made of?
- Silver plated bronze
What makes the medieval ring so significant in today's world?
The medieval ring had various meanings and uses, such as symbols of rulership, to place the wearer in a particular faith community, for ritual purposes, and to document the marriage vows made. Overall, medieval rings were an integral part of life during this period and offer a fascinating insight into the relationships, culture, and practices of the time. As such, they are an invaluable source of history that should be treasured and preserved for future Generations.