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Rings

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What is a Ring?

A ring is a round piece of material, usually made of metal or precious stones
that is worn on the ring finger, the fourth finger on your hand. Many rings are
used only as decoration, but over the centuries there have developed several
types of rings with special significance.

The engagement ring is traditionally worn by a woman to indicate she is soon to
be married. Men rarely wear engagement rings, but it is not an unheard of even.

A wedding ring is often worn by both partners of a married couple. This ring
signifies the two have joined together as husband and wife. More men are
wearing these today than in past centuries.

Class rings are worn by students to signify they are about to or have
graduated. These are worn by high school and college students as well as
graduates from higher education programs.

Mood rings were a fad that faded but are now making a come back. These are made
of a metal that is sensitive to the body's temperature and are meant to tell
what emotional state the wearer is in.

Posie rings are bands that have some sort of inscription written on the
outside. These can be given for many different events.

A purity ring is worn by many religious figures, such as nuns and monks. These
rings are a symbol of the pure hearts and thoughts of the individuals that wear
them.

In Victorian times, women often were given what is known as a regards ring.
This ring was named for the stones lined on the band - ruby, emerald, garnet,
amethyst, ruby, diamond and sapphire.

Signet rings are often worn by royalty. These rings often bear the family
insignia.

The above are but a few of the many specialized rings in existence. Rings have
been around since the earliest of times and it is doubtful they will ever go
out of style.

What are Toe Rings?

A relatively new fashion item in the western world is the idea of toe rings. In
western cultures they are used exclusively for looks. By tradition they are worn
on the second toe and are in matched sets. However women of the west don't
necessarily follow this and will wear only one or unmatched sets. The material
used to make these rings can be both metal and non-metal.

Toe rings are from the Hindu religion of India. It is customary to wear
matching rings on both feet. In the Hindu religion this is used to denote a
woman's married status. The term for this practice is called bichiya
(pronounced: bee-chee-ya) in Hindi or Metti in Tamil. The rings worn by the
women of India are, by tradition, made of silver. Often a person's social
status can be revealed by the ornateness of these rings. A long held belief is
that these rings will make noise when a woman walks barefoot on hard floors,
thus allowing others to be able to track her.

The traditional toe ring was made from silver but with the influence of the
west, more contemporary designs are taking hold. Until recent times, gold was
not permitted because gold holds a special respected status and thus cannot be
worn below the waist. This belief is quickly falling away and more and more toe
rings are sporting not only gold but diamods as well.

It is a common practice for Hindu men to place the ring upon the toe of the
bride during the ceremony in much the same way the western groom places a ring
on the finger of his bride. The idea of a silver toe ring is to ensure
fertility and contribute to a healthy preganancy. Only married Hindu women may
wear toe rings.

A simple wire wrapped ring

There are many ways to make a wire wrapped ring. If you plan on making several
of these you will want a ring gauge that can be purchased at many hobby and
craft stores. While there, select the stone you want for this ring. Make sure
these are the ones that are predrilled as you'll need to insert the wire
through the holes. You will need wire cutters and a spool of 14 gauge silver
wire.

Start by measuring your finger size. Cut fifty (50), inches of wire. Once you
know the circumference of your finger, bend the wire such that there are two
pieces laying side by side and one half inch longer than your finger size.
Repeat this until you have four pieces of wire lying side by side. Make sure
these coils are very tight. This is called the base or ring base. Wrap the
remaining wire tightly around this base but leave a little bit at the end to
form a loop (by opening the base wires at the coiled ends). Continue until you
have reached the same point on the other end of the base. Once completed, form
the wrapped piece around the finger gauge.

Put stones on the remaining piece of wire. The number you use is your choice.
Run the free end through the loop at the end of the base and wrap it back
around and back through the stones. Check periodically to ensure you have not
put too many stones on thus making the ring too large. Once you have all the
stones on and the ring is the correct size, cut off the excess wire, leaving a
small length that can be wrapped around the end to secure it. Push the excess
into the end stone.

A simple wire wrapped toe ring

There are many ways to make a wire wrapped ring. If you plan on making several
of these you will want a ring gauge that can be purchased at many hobby and
craft stores. While there, select the stone you want for this ring. Make sure
these are the ones that are predrilled as you'll need to insert the wire
through the holes. You will need wire cutters and a spool of 14 gauge silver
wire.

Start by measuring your toe size. Cut fifty (50), inches of wire. Once you know
the circumference of your toe, bend the wire such that there are two pieces
laying side by side and one half inch longer than your toe size. Repeat this
until you have four pieces of wire lying side by side. Make sure these coils
are very tight. This is called the base or ring base. Wrap the remaining wire
tightly around this base but leave a little bit at the end to form a loop (by
opening the base wires at the coiled ends). Continue until you have reached the
same point on the other end of the base. Once completed, form the wrapped piece
around the finger gauge.

Put stones on the remaining piece of wire. The number you use is your choice.
Run the free end through the loop at the end of the base and wrap it back
around and back through the stones. Check periodically to ensure you have not
put too many stones on thus making the ring too large. Once you have all the
stones on and the ring is the correct size, cut off the excess wire, leaving a
small length that can be wrapped around the end to secure it. Push the excess
into the end stone.

The construction of a beaded ring

Not all rings are made of metal. For those people who like to do crafts, wire
and string are excellent materials for making rings. There are as many ways to
make a beaded ring, as there are fingers to wear one. The method described here
is the simplest. Your material list includes 2 crimp beads, nylon cord
(monofilament fishing line), a primary bead or even more than one, a sufficient
number of smaller or seed beads. All of these supplies can be purchased at any
craft shop. Should you decide to make several then you should also purchase a
crimping tool. This give the finished work a much better appearance.

To ensure the correct size, wrap the line around your finger, then cut an
additional inch off. It is best to make the first ring a simple one only to get
the basic idea in place. If you are using crimping pliers, you will notice that
there are two holes when the jaws are closed. To close a crimp properly, first
use the hole nearest the handle. This will result in a u-shaped bead. Then,
slide the crimp pliers over this bead such that the opening between the u is
facing the center or hinge of the pliers and use the smaller hole near the
front of the jaws. This time when squeezed, the bead will be very secure.

Place one crimp bead on the line but do not crimp it. Put on one larger bead
for the center or crown bead. Follow this with several of the small seed beads.
Repeat this until you have enough to circle your finger loosely (this allows
room for it to slide over your knuckle). Put another crimp bead on. Run the
ends through the crimp beads on either side of the crown bead. Crimp both crimp
beads.

The construction of a beaded toe ring

Not all rings are made of metal. For those people who like to do crafts, wire
and string are excellent materials for making rings. There are as many ways to
make a beaded ring, as there are toes to wear one. The method described here is
the simplest. Your material list includes 2 crimp beads, nylon cord
(monofilament fishing line), a primary bead or even more than one, a sufficient
number of smaller or seed beads. All of these supplies can be purchased at any
craft shop. Should you decide to make several then you should also purchase a
crimping tool. This gives the finished work a much better appearance.

To ensure the correct size, wrap the line around your toe, then cut an
additional inch off. It is best to make the first ring a simple one only to get
the basic idea in place. If you are using crimping pliers, you will notice that
there are two holes when the jaws are closed. To close a crimp properly, first
use the hole nearest the handle. This will result in a u-shaped bead. Then,
slide the crimp pliers over this bead such that the opening between the u is
facing the center or hinge of the pliers and use the smaller hole near the
front of the jaws. This time when squeezed, the bead will be very secure.

Place one crimp bead on the line but do not crimp it. Put on one larger bead
for the center or crown bead. Follow this with several of the small seed beads.
Repeat this until you have enough to circle your toe loosely (this allows room
for it to slide over your knuckle). Put another crimp bead on. Run the ends
through the crimp beads on either side of the crown bead. Crimp both crimp
beads.

The magic of Gemstone Rings

The first rings that were made did not have any gemstones at all. These were
silver, gold or copper rings in a flat or rounded style. The belief in the
magic of gemstones eventually led to including them in rings. Today's rings are
not only beautiful but downright magical. A few examples of gemstone rings
follow.

* Birthstone Rings: It is believed that there is a gemstone that represents
every month in the year and is thus related to a zodiac sign. Gemstone rings
with a birthstone are supposed to bring good luck and ward off evil.

* Anniversary Rings: Similar to birthstones, anniversary rings are made for
each year of marriage. The second year of marriage is represented by the garnet
gemstone, the tenth year by a diamond ring and so on.

* Family Birthstone Rings: These are a special category of gemstone rings
where, each ring has the birthstone of all the members of the family. In cases
where members of a family are spread in geographically far off places, family
birth stone rings provide a kind of spiritual bonding.

* Wedding and Engagement Rings: The engagement ring is almost always a gemstone
ring with diamonds adding accent to it. Made on a comparatively higher budget,
gemstone rings for engagements use gemstones like rubies, sapphires, emeralds
etc. Wedding rings are made as gemstone rings in a few countries, however most
people prefer simple gold or silver bands for wedding rings. The more exotic
gemstone rings are created as engagement rings.

* Religious and Mythological Rings: A classic example of such a gemstone ring
is the 'navratna' ring that is prominent in Hindu mythology. The ring comprises
of 9 gemstones, each with a special power of it's own. Thai mythology also has a
gemstone ring called the 'nok-phak-kow' ring that has 9 gemstones.

Reasons to Buy a Multi-Gemstone Ring

The first and foremost reason is the beauty and attractiveness of rings with
multiple gemstones. The color combinations are unlimited and you can let your
fancy run wild. Your imagination and the size of your budget are the only known
limitations.

Another concept that is getting to be popular in recent times is about 'family
birthstone' rings. In this multi gemstone ring designs, the birthstones of the
family members iare combined into a ring. So the father, mother and the
daughter would all wear rings that consisted of birthstones for three of them.
For example, the emerald birthstone for the mother and the ruby birthstone for
the father would be combined with the garnet birthstone of the daughter. It is
not necessary for all the family members to wear the same multi gemstone ring
design. The theme is to include all birthstones in each of the rings they wear
and the ring designs could be different. This helps keep the family emotionally
connected when they are physically apart.

For many centuries man has believed in the healing powers of gemstones.
Different gemstones are believed to have different powers and a combination of
the gemstones is supposed to yield the best results. The Asian Navratna ring or
the nine Gemstone ring from Thailand are classic examples. If one stone is
powerful it is believed that the power of several together is unbeatable.

Adding birthstone of the marrying couple adds significance to the rings.
Marriage signifies a life long bond between two people, it is a tying up of
destinies and personalities. Each year, numerous couples seek to make special
multiple gemstone rings with the birthstones of each other set in the rings. It
is expected that this trend will grow in the next few years.

Gemstone Cuts

There are several ways to cut a polished rock and turn it into a gemstone.
Below is a list of the most common cuts and how to know what to look for. This
won't make you an expert but you will be able to tell a round from an oval.
Usually the number of cuts, called facets, determines the price. A few
definitions are in order:

Facet: the cut portion of the gem.
Girdle: the sides of the gem
Pavilion: the part of the gem above the setting
Crown: the top of the gem

The various cuts:

Round: The most expensive cut stone. This is often used for engagement rings.

Princess: This cut may have 50 facets, 21 crown, four girdle and 25 pavilion or
58 facets, 21 crown, four girdle, 33 pavilion. This is the smallest of the
shapes of the same carat weight and tends to be the most delicate.

Oval: The more cost efficient cut because you get more stone by carat weight
than the round and still maintain the normal 58 facets.

Emerald: This form of design allows for less brilliance but larger facets.
These are called step cuts and reveal mirror like qualities.

Marquise: The name is derived from the legend of the Marquise of Pompadour and
it is said the sun king wanted a stone cut into the shape of the mouth of the
Marquise. This provides a much larger stone at a normally lower cost.

Trillion: This is a relatively new type of cut. It is designed as a triangle
with equilateral sides.

Baguette: Most stones cut in this step fashion are used as side stones. The
corners are not beveled as in the emerald cut.

There are other cuts but these are the most common ones you will find in ring
settings.

Birthstone Ring Meanings

Every month has one gemstone that is associated solely with it. Because they
are so personal, birthstone rings have become cherished items. They can come as
single personal birthstone rings, couple's rings (which contain the individual
stones of the two people in a relationship) and mother and father rings, which
contain one gemstone for each child the person has. In recent year's the
mother's ring has extended its reach and grandmothers are now often seen with
rings bearing the birthstones of their grandchildren.

Below I will cover the individual meanings often associated with each
birthstone. This article covers the first six months of the year, January
through June. Part two will contain the second half of the year, July through
December.

January - Garnet - the gem of faith and truth; protects from poisons, thought
to stop bleeding, cure sickness of the blood and infections.

February - Amethyst - aids soldiers in battle, control evil thoughts, helps
hunters to catch animals, and helps the owner be good in business.

March - Aquamarine - sailors used aquamarine to gemstones to keep them safe and
to prevent seasickness. It gives the wearer courage, foresight and courage

April - Diamond - Symbol of strength, courage, and invincibility. It is the
ultimate gift of love. In 1477 Archduke Maxmillian of Austria gave Mary of
Burgundy a diamond ring, thus starting the tradition of diamonds being given as
engagement rings.

May - Emerald - Sharpened the wearer's eyesight and mind. Travelers used them
as protection against the hazards of long trips. The green color is said to
give the owner power to predict the future.

June - Pearl - Freshwater pearls give the power of love, money, protection, and
luck. It is said they give provide wisdom through experience and protect
children from harm.

July - Ruby - Its red color is related to sex, passion, strength, health,
physical energy, courage, and protection. It is associated with blood, birth,
and death

August - Peridot -It is thought to bring the wearer good luck, peace, and
success. Its powers include health, protection, and sleep. It attracts love,
calms anger, eases anxiety and negative emotions

September - Sapphire - Its powers include spiritual enlightenment and inner
peace. It is said to aid in the healing of rheumatism, colic and mental illness

October -Opal - It has healing powers that aid inner beauty, faithfulness, and
eyesight. It also aids in remembering past lives.

November - Yellow Topaz (Sanskrit for fire) - In the Middle Ages was thought to
heal both physical and mental illnesses and prevent death. Citrine - also for
November - Aids the kidneys, heart, digestive tract liver, and muscles. It
promotes creativity, personal clarity and eliminates self-destructive
tendencies.

December - Blue Topaz (Sanskrit for fire) - In the Middle Ages was thought to
heal both physical and mental illnesses and prevent death. Turquoise - also for
December - It attracts money, success, and love. It gives protection, healing,
courage, friendship, and luck. It eases the mind and mental tension.

Birthstone rings make wonderful gifts. The idea of having a ring with a stone
associated solely with one's month of birth can add value to it. People love
having something that was picked out personally with them in mind and
birthstone rings fit that description perfectly. The ring is a gift that will
be cherished for many years to come.

A Brief History of Rings

Rings first became popular during the medieval years. Rings were typically made
of iron, copper, silver, or gold. The material of the ring worn usually
indicated the class of the wearer. It wasn't until around the 14th century that
faceted jewels appeared in rings.

The start of wedding rings has an interesting story. Richard Joyce was among
the crew of a fishing boat from the village of Claddagh, Ireland that was
captured, he was to have been married that very same week. During slavery
Richard Joyce was put to learning the trade of the goldsmith. Through the years
of capture neither married. Richard Joyce created a ring for his love with a
heart for love, a crown for loyalty, and two hands indicating friendship.

After Joyce escaped capture, he returned to the village of Claddagh and was
overjoyed to see his love again and to know she had never married. She always
knew he would return to her. He gave her the ring that has become known as the
Claddagh ring. If the Claddagh is worn on the right hand with the crown inward
(toward the wrist) the heart is not yet committed. If it is worn on the right
hand with the crown turned outward the wearer is committed to someone. Finally
if it is worn on the left hand with the crown outward it means "Let our love
and friendship reign forever, never to be separated."

Rings are worn for a variety of reasons including adornment. There are rings
given as a reward for a job well done such as the Super Bowl victory. They are
given to represent commitment as in engagements and marriages. Class rings are
traditional for high school and college seniors. Parents and grandparents have
rings with their children's or grandchildren's birthstones in them. These are
but a few of the many rings today.




Choosing a diamond for your ring

When you are looking to buy a ring, the setting itself is mainly based on what
you or the person you are buying the ring for likes. The stone, however, has
some practical aspects to consider. Let's take a closer look at what to look
for in a diamond ring.

The things to consider in buying a beautiful diamond ring are known as the four
Cs - carat, color, clarity and cut. Follow these and you are well on your way to
a beautiful ring.

The carat of your diamond refers to its weight - simply put, the larger the
diamond, the more valuable it becomes. While larger diamonds can be impressive,
certain settings suit smaller carats better. Choose a carat that appeals most to
you - a large diamond may be valuable, but the most important factor is how
valuable it is to you.

The color of a diamond also relates to its value - the clearer the stone, the
more valuable your diamond ring. This applies to the traditional clear diamond
as well as the newer ones in pink and blue. You want to be able to look through
your stone.

The third factor is clarity . Though few diamonds are perfect, the ones with
less clouds or flaws are more rare, and thus more expensive to purchase.

The final factor is the diamond's cut. The best cut will display the diamond's
brilliance to the best effect.

Your jeweler will be able to help you select a diamond that fits all these
characteristics, but remember that each diamond is beautiful in its own right.
Your diamond ring is special so choose the one that makes you feel happy.

Hopefully the above will help you make an informed choice when you purchase
your next ring.

Don't Choose your wedding ring recklessly

There is a large number of wedding rings available on today's market and it is
important that you take your time when picking one out.

Beauty isn't the only thing you need to consider when choosing this special
ring. Your wedding ring holds greater meaning. It is a symbol of your love for
the person that you married, and you should select the ring that you feels best
captures the essence of these feelings.

The diamond ring you choose for your wedding should be everything that you feel
your love to be - unique, beautiful and durable. And while there are a huge
variety of styles and ring settings available, the core features of a truly
beautiful diamond remain the same regardless of the style of diamond ring you
pick to celebrate your wedding. You will hopefully wear this ring the rest of
your life, so choose a style that seems timeless to you.

Selecting a wedding ring isn't as easy as it looks. You are going to wear your
ring for the rest of your life, so it should be something you won't get tired
of in a couple years. You will have to look at and try on many different rings
before you come to a final decision and, being an intelligent consumer, you
should know what your options are.

First, you will have to decide how much you can afford to spend. Then, with
your budget in mind, choose the material you want your ring made of.

And men, you need to take great care when shopping for that special diamond
ring! Remember to ask the jeweler for the total carat weight of the largest
diamond in the piece to truly understand what you are buying. Don't pay more
for what you are getting.

Unique Wedding Rings

Wedding rings date back hundreds of years. They have long stood for fidelity
and love between two people and are given on a day of joining.. Before they
used metal for rings wedding ring could be made from such things plants, grass
and even hair.

Today's wedding rings are made from stunning metals such as gold, titanium,
platinum and white gold and most often contain a diamond, although sapphire are
quickly becoming more popular.

There are many different styles of wedding ring, but the most popular,
especially for men, is the plain gold band. For those who want something a bit
less plain, the market is ripe with possibilities.

While there are exceptions, the only piece of jewelry some men wear is their
wedding band. For that reason, having something a little bit different can
really look stunning and stand out from the rest.

Most men's wedding rings are made from platinum due to its strength and
durability. Often gold is too soft of material to withstand years of use. With
proper care, the platinum will look as good twenty years from now as it does
today.

While it has been the tradition in most places to wear your wedding ring on
your left hand, in countries such as Germany, Russia, Norway the traditional
way to wear your wedding ring is often on the right hand..

Many couples choose other ways of making their wedding band unique. They will
often have a matched set, have the date or their names engraved, or choose a
diamond in pink or blue to make it stand out more. Buying the stone separate
from the band and creating your own design is yet another way to make your
wedding ring completely unique.

With a little thought and not a lot of extra cash, you can have a wedding ring
that is as special as the day you receive it.

Metals commonly used in making rings

There are several metals used in making quality rings. This treatise will
discuss two of them, gold and silver.. Other materials are used but designer
rings will normally only rely on the previously mentioned four. Two of the
primary criteria for selecting the proper metal is looks as well as wear
ability. Both gold and silver have been known to cause allergic reactions
making this metal unsuitable for use for that person.

The most common metal, by far, for rings is gold. There are many varieties of
this metal, from yellow to white. One of the more non-traditional forms is
black hills gold. Although not necessarily inexpensive, it is often less costly
than it's counterpart. Gold, by itself, is too soft to be used as a ring. Thus
it is mixed with other metals. Pure gold is 24 karats, and the least gold
measurement is 10 karat. By definition, the amount of gold is the difference
between the numbers. For example: and 18-karat ring is 18 parts gold and 6
parts of other metal or metals.

Silver is the counterpart to gold. Like gold, silver is a soft metal and is
used with other metals for hardening purposes. The finest rating for silver is
fine and is 99.9 per cent silver. Sterling is just below fine in ratings and is
92.5 % silver, 7.5% copper. Lesser-ranked are: Mexican silver, German silver,
Indian silver, Montana silver and just silver. Nickel silver contains no
silver. None of these have any guaranteed pure silver content however. To test
for silver content, scrape away, in a non-visible area, any plating. Pour a
drop of nitric acid on this spot. Sterling silver will display a creamy color
while lesser values and silver alloys will display a greenish tint because of
the high quantity of copper. .

More Metals commonly used in making rings

While gold and silver are the most common materials used in making top quality
rings, there are two other materials that have come into common usage. Titanium
and platinum make very durable, lightweight (titanium) and lovely jewelry. Of
these two, titanium is by far the most common.

Titanium is a lustrous silver-white metal. It can be called the space age metal
because it is the most useful metal for designing vehicles for travel in space.
When used for rings it is quite durable and hypoallergenic. For people who are
allergic to silver but want the luster of silver, titanium is the ideal choice.
The most common use in rings is male wedding bands. It is very malleable and yet
very strong. Titanium is very corrosion resistant, safe from most acids, is
unaffected by moist chlorine gas or common salt solutions. It is titanium
dioxide that creates the star effect in some sapphires and rubies.

Platinum is often called white gold. It is twice as heavy and much more
expensive. Platinum has a very high resistance to corrosion and most chemicals.
In order to increase the metals strength but retain all of it's properties,
small amounts of iridium are often added. Most jewelry uses of platinum are
platinum 950, which is 95 % platinum and 5% iridium.

Titanium are two of the more exotic metals used for jewelry. Many other
materials are also available, such as aluminum, hematite, and turquoise. Two of
the primary factors to consider when purchasing a ring are durability and cost.
There are often trade-offs necessary to get just that one ring that is right
for you. For rings that will contain settings, most solitaires are made of gold
and silver but titanium is often used with embedded gemstones for added beauty.

Materials Most Often Used in Rings

With all the advances made is the jewelry industry, there are several different
metals, and some stones that can be used in making the actual setting of a ring.

Yellow gold, in 14K or 18 K, is still one of the most popular materials for
rings. Tis looks elegant and yellow gold holds a special place in most people's
hearts.

White gold is gaining attention in some circles. For those who don't like
yellow gold, white gold makes a good alternative. It is more precious than
sterling silver, yet the color goes with almost any color.

Sterling silver is yet another alternative for rings. This metal wears well
through the years and looks good with a variety of gemstones.

Platinum is one of the hardest metals, which in itself makes platinum a
suitable symbol for enduring love, such as with a wedding ring. It is also very
pure. While 18K gold contains only seventy-five percent gold, most platinum
jewelry is ninety-five percent platinum. Platinum rings look similar to white
gold, are very elegant and stylish and don't scratch easily or loose their look
with the passing years. Platinum rings are the most costly, but considering how
long they last, it is well-worth the extra expense.

Titanium is long lasting, light and not very expensive, so it has recently
became a very popular material for rings. Titanium rings are similar in
appearance to white gold rings but they are so light that you can hardly feel
one on your finger. Titanium is a particularly popular material for men's
wedding rings.

In addition to metals, you can often find rings made of hematite, turquoise and
several other precious stones. These rings are said to carry the energy
associated with the stones and are popular with many of today's younger
generation.

Legendary Irish Ring

No other ring in the history has as beautiful of tory as that of the Irish
Claddagh ring.

The story of the Claddagh starts when a fisherman, Richard Joyce, and other
crew members were captured by pirates shortly before Joyce was to be married.
He was sold into slavery in Algiers and made the property of a goldsmith who
taught him the craft. With his beloved back in Claddagh on his mind he
fashioned the first Claddagh ring. The hands were to represent friendship, the
heart was love, and the crown represented loyalty and fidelity.

In 1698 King Georges III agreed to free all of his subjects. Richard Joyce was
once again free. His slave master offered Joyce his daughter in marriage and
half of his wealth if he would stay in Algiers. Joyce refused the offer and
instead returned home to Claddagh where he found his love waiting for him.
Neither of them had married. Upon discovering this, Joyce gave his love the
ring and they were married shortly thereafter.

The ring was dubbed The Claddagh because of the village Joyce and his Bride
were from. There were others who made the ring much later and added jewels and
an intricate crown design. The basic hands holding a crowned heart has never
changed. Joyce wanted something that would his love for his Beloved.

The design is the clasped hands of the 'fede' or faith rings. These rings date
from Roman times and were popular in the Middle Ages. The ring is worn now by
many to speak to their Irish heritage. The Claddagh tells the story of two
lovers who are separated and yet their love and commitment withstood the
passage of time. It's simple design and my heritage influenced my decision to
purchase a Claddagh.

Celtic Art on Rings

The Celts believed firmly in the interconnectedness of all life and produced
the familiar Celtic Knots, which are interlaced patterns with no beginning and
no end. Today, their artwork is popular on wedding bands.

The Claddagh is a traditional symbol of love and friendship. The design of the
Claddagh consists of a heart as a symbol of love, a crown as a symbol of
fidelity or loyalty and hands depicting friendship. Tradition states that if
you are spoken for you should wear the Claddagh on your left hand facing inward
but if you are unattached it should be worn facing outward on the right hand.

Celtic crosses symbolize the four quarters of the Earth or the four elements
water, earth, wind and fire . They are equal armed crosses, which are enclosed
or backed by a circle Celtic crosses are often worn as jewelry such as rings or
on chains around the neck.

Geometric designs have always feature largely in Celtic artwork with spirals,
chevrons, scrolls and knot work. Many of these patterns can be seen decorating
stone carvings or ancient manuscripts and religious books. The Celtic spirals
are very symbolic with the single spiral generally thought to signify growth
expansion and cosmic energy.

The dual centered spiral found often on stone carvings signifies duality and
nature and is associated with motifs from other cultures such as the Ying Yang
symbol. Celtic knot work designs remain popular today and can vary from single
elegant knot patterns to complex intricate interlaced patterns.

The Celtic way of life and culture may be gone, but its artwork lives on.
Today's society has quickly grasped the sheer beauty and meaning in their
creations. Wearing a wedding ring with a design that has been around as long as
the wedding itself, can only be a positive sign.

Class Rings

Class rings are a great way of not only having a living memento to your high
school or college years, but also as a way to tie you to your fellow
classmates, to increase your sense of belonging to something greater. Class
rings are latecomers in the history of rings, coming into existence around
1865, but they have become as much a part of senior year as the graduation
ceremony itself.

At one time class rings were generally a single design made by the high school
or college, and the only design change would be the graduation year. Today's
class rings are usually at least somewhat customized by each student and can
appear vastly different from one student to the next.

The most popular color is gold, though that differs depending on the school and
company providing the rings. Students have the option of ordering rings made of
white gold, silver, or different alloys of other metals. The width of the
actual ring and the style can vary quite a bit from one ring to the next.

The center stone is traditionally one of the school's colors, but this is not
necessary. Some students pick a stone in their favorite color, birthstone or
favorite gemstone.

The school's name usually appears on the side, though the year of graduation is
necessary on at least one side. This is, after all, the distinguishing mark that
shows exactly where you belonged in the long history of whichever institution
you attended. The school's logo, motto, or insignia is also a common choice for
design. Many students have their name, initials, or nickname engraved on the
underside of the ring.

Years from now, you may not remember all the details of your school years, but
having a class ring will bring back the feelings of youth and belonging.

Masonic Rings

If you are a member of the Freemasons, it is likely you will be looking to buy
a Masonic ring. This group that can trace itself historically back to June
24th, 1717 when four London lodges met to establish the Grand Lodge of England,
but some state that the masons have ties going all the way back to Ancient
Egypt. In any case, it seems the Freemasons have always existed.

The tools represented in the Masons symbol are working tools (the square,
level, plumb, etc.) These remind members of the tenets of the craft. Members
today are said to be of the 'craft.' Freemasonry exists in many parts of the
globe as a basically social club with many levels of status for the members to
work their way through. When a member has reached a higher degree there is a
ceremony to officially confer the new ranking.

Stonemason's tools represented in the Masonic symbol are used to stand for
basic virtues. The three overriding Masonic principles are brotherly love,
relief, and truth. Most will wear rings bearing the symbol of the Masons with
other certain attributes like background colors to indicate that they are a
Mason and come from a specific lodge or that you have attained a specific
degree of status within the Masons.

Some rings can be quite expensive for those who have gained a higher degree
within the Masons. Most members' rings run an average of one hundred dollars.
They are quite bold in statement, with a wide band and some containing
gemstones and gold or silver. The more averaged priced ring will simply be the
steel or brass with the Masonic emblem on a colored background. A lot of ring
manufacturers pride themselves on being able to offer these rings handcrafted
one at a time, by Masons for Masons.

Signet Rings

Signet rings are also known as seal rings. In general, seal rings are used like
stamps to indicate the position and title of the sender.
Signet rings have traditionally been a sign of nobility. Generally, this ring
bears the symbol of the coat of arms in semiprecious stones or metal. It is
engraved in intaglio. Most of the time, the material used for this is agate.
The metal signet rings are usually cast and they turn out to be less expensive
but produce a weaker product.

As a sign of rank and authority, the signet ring is part of the regalia of some
monarchies. In some museums, the signet rings are displayed along with the
crown, scepter and other royal paraphernalia of a monarch.

The pope for the Roman Catholic Church also has a signet ring. After the pope
dies, his signet ring is destroyed symbolizing his passing away and paves the
way for the selection of a new pope.

The signet ring is worn on the small finger or fifth finger, but it differs
from the traditional pinky ring.. Depending on the nobility's country of
origin, they may typically set it on the finger of the hand that their customs
have prescribed over time. However, some countries place their signet rings on
the ring finger, specifically on the right hand such as the Swiss nobles.
Others such as the German and French nobles, place their ring on the ring
finger of the left hand. For nobles based in the United Kingdom, the signet
rings are worn on the left hand. Their rings are generally cast in gold.

Some cultures wear the signet rings differently to indicate their marital
status; with the seal facing inwards towards their palms are indicating that
they are married while those who wear the ring facing up are not.

Mood Rings

Mood rings first made their appearance in the 1970's. You wore it on your
finger and the color of the stone would reflect the state of your emotions. 
There were many incarnations of the personal mood-detector. There was a big
flat masculine-looking ring, a watch that changed color, pendants and even nail
polish.
The way mood rings work is simple. The stone in a mood ring is either a hollow
glass shell filled with thermo tropic liquid crystals, or a clear glass stone
sitting on top of a thin sheet of liquid crystals. These liquid crystal
molecules are very sensitive and they change position according to changes in
temperature.
This change in molecular structure affects the wavelengths of light that are
absorbed or reflected by the liquid crystals, resulting in an apparent change
in the color of the stone. 
For example, as the temperature increases, the liquid crystal molecules twist
slightly in one direction. This twist causes the liquid crystal substance to
absorb more of the red and green portions of the visible light, and reflect the
blue part.  This causes the stone to appear dark blue.
When the temperature decreases, the molecules begin to twist in the other
direction, and reflect a different portion of the spectrum . . . which explains
why they were totally useless outdoors in winter when they would just turn gray
and stay like that.

Below is a list of the various colors and their associated feelings:

Slate blue - Happiness, Love & Joy

Blue - Relaxed, At Ease and Calm

Blue/Green - Somewhat Relaxed

Green - Average reading - Not under stress

Yellow/Green - Troubled & Uneasy

Grey - Anxious/ Nervous

Black - Tense, Nervous, Anxious, Harassed

So...If you are having one of those days when you just don't know what you're
feeling, slip on a mood ring and it will tell you.

Ring Symbolism

Rings are the one piece of jewelry full of symbolism. The shape itself
indicates eternity and makes this the perfect choice for wedding jewelry.

Various cultures place special significance on certain rings. In addition,
groups of all types use a special ring to signify membership and belonging to
that group. The rings worn my Freemasons and graduates are prime examples of
these types of rings.

Not just the ring, but also the gemstones that adorn many rings have their own
symbolism. Examples of these rings are mother's rings and couple's rings.

Some cultures place significance on which finger a person wears a ring. Your
thumb is your willpower finger. If you wear your ring on your thumb some view
you as a person with a strong will. If you wear your ring on your index finger
(the finger next to the thumb), your ring is on your authority finger. This can
be taken to mean you are one that likes to have things your way or you're
someone of high political or social standards. Your ring finger (right next to
the pinkie) is your creativity finger. A person who prefers this finger is seen
as creative and having a vivid imagination. Your little (pinkie) finger is your
relationship finger. Wearing a pinkie ring indicates you are full of love and
energy.

Giving a ring to someone requires careful thought. You need to make yourself
know what significance your recipient places on rings as well as be sure what
message you are trying to convey. Many hearts have been won or lost over the
gift of a simple piece of metal.

The next time you stop to admire a ring, think of how that tiny piec of jewelry
can hold a world of meaning. You'll never take one for granted again.





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