By now you will have understood, this in-depth activity regarding the history of jewels has taken us totally.
In previous articles, we talked about the origins of jewelry and the history of necklaces. What we will talk about today is the history of the rings, the most widespread jewels in the world! Ready to go?
The Bronze Age, the beginning of everything
As we said our journey begins in Prehistory, more precisely in the Bronze Age. The first rings, in fact, date back to this period, when, little more than simple circles, they were used to embellish the fingers.
Over the centuries this custom and production techniques have been refined up to the present day, although the meanings and the relative symbolism have changed over the millennia.
Pharaohs, seals and eternal loyalty: the history of the rings in the imperial age
As with the other types of jewelry, the rings also experienced their first major evolution during the era of great empires. Just think of the Pharaohs and the wealth of the Egyptian nobility’s accouterments: in ancient Egypt priests and nobles used to adorn their fingers with wonderful gold rings made with specific characteristics. The same rings were authentic seals with which to sign the documents as a signature.
In ancient Rome, on the other hand, the ring takes on a new meaning: in addition to symbolizing wealth and nobility, if worn on the left ring finger the ring becomes a symbol of loyalty for newlyweds. In fact, it was believed that the vein of love passed directly from the left ring finger, coming directly from the finger to the heart. Hence the romantic value of the jewel that has come down to us.
The piscatory ring, the papal custom born in the Middle Ages
Even the Church over the centuries has undergone the charm of the rings. Cardinals and bishops of the Catholic church used to wear inlaid or richly set gemstone rings which museums all over the world preserve.
The custom among the popes to wear the ring of the fisher of souls (more commonly known as the piscatory ring) was Pope Clement IV in 1265, in the middle ages. Since then, today, every pope wears his personalized ring, made immediately after the election of the Pope and destroyed immediately after his death.
From the Renaissance to the present day
After the Middle Ages, the value and prestige associated with the rings has not changed. It is precisely in the Renaissance in fact, the period after the middle age, that the ring becomes a symbol of the high social status of those who wore it.
In this period also the meaning of fidelity associated with this jewel widens and takes on this meaning not only among the spouses but also between the kings and their subjects, to whom they used to donate precious trinkets as a symbol of the bond that united the crown and nobility.
The rings today
What a wonderful story the ring story is? Even though some of the great traditions linked to this jewel still persist, the use made of it in the current era is much less solemn and more casual. The fashion of these years even suggests wearing one for every finger, simple or flashy.
And at what age would you have wanted to wear your rings?
We do not mind the idea of signing with a nice seal!
To the next story!