Vintage handmade rings. antiques
Vintage handmade rings. antiques

Video: Vintage handmade rings. antiques

Video: Vintage handmade rings. antiques
Video: custom pink ruby jewelry - handmade vintage gold ring with ruby stone 2023, September

Rings are something more in a person's life than just beautiful jewelry. The round shape with a hole inside symbolizes eternity, protection, happiness. This accessory was not always used as a decoration and has its roots in antiquity. In the past, ancient rings adorned the hands of noble people and served as an identification mark indicating the status or belonging to the family of its owner.

From the history of the appearance of the ring

When exactly the rings appeared, it is not known for certain. In the process of archaeological excavations, scientists find evidence of the existence of rings as far back as the Paleolithic era. They were made from animal bones, stone, horse hair or dry grass. At that time, the rings served as a talisman or a talisman for hunters.

Egyptian gold ring
Egyptian gold ring

The first mention of ancient rings comes from Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. At that time, only noble people could wear rings. With the help of them, they denoted their status and materialposition in society. Slaves and lower classes were forbidden to wear this decoration.

From Egypt, the art of creating jewelry, including rings, has already gone to Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, and from there further. Special honor was given to rings with the image of a scarab beetle or a cat. Even then, they were distinguished by special grace and complexity of execution. Numerous ancient bronze rings made of silver, copper and gold were found in the tombs of the pharaohs, they were used to decorate mummies during burial.

egyptian rings
egyptian rings

In the Roman Empire, according to the law, senators and other high-ranking officials were allowed to wear gold rings, while ordinary people were content with the opportunity to adorn themselves with iron jewelry. Later, this law was repealed, and gold was allowed to be worn by all freeborn in the empire, freedmen wore silver rings, and only slaves were designated with iron rings. It was often possible to meet an image or a gem of an eagle with spread wings - a symbol of the power of Rome.

Rings in Medieval Europe

Precious jewelry in Europe in the Middle Ages, as well as in times before our era, was worn only by the nobility, often using them to make deals. They also wore jewelry to demonstrate material we alth, title and position in secular society. In addition to noble people, priests, magicians and soothsayers wore jewelry.

The early Middle Ages are characterized by wearing rings with uncut gemstones. At that time, technologies that allow skillfullyhave not been processed yet. That is why in museums and private collections you can see a large number of ancient rings with uncut stones.

sapphire-encrusted ring
sapphire-encrusted ring

The image of Christian symbols is becoming widespread at this time. On silver, gold and copper rings, you can see the faces of saints and images of Christ, numerous crosses and scenes from holy scriptures.

In the late Middle Ages, the wearing of rings is gaining more and more popularity and becomes partly a tribute to fashion. Therefore, jewelers of those times often created beautiful rings inlaid with large and small precious stones.

Ring with the faces of saints
Ring with the faces of saints

It is noteworthy that in the Middle Ages in Europe, people believed in magic and sorcery. This also influenced the role of jewelry in society. In addition to the status designation, many of them were used as amulets or as medicine. So, for example, the rings were treated for barley, epilepsy and other "sorcerous ailments", they made slander. They were made from donkey hooves, whale sinew, and other strange materials.

Old Slavic rings

The word "ring" was formed from the derivative "kolo", which in Old Slavonic means a wheel, a circle, and a ring comes from the word "finger" - a finger. As in other civilizations, among the Slavs, jewelry worn on the body served as a talisman. This custom appeared long before the baptism of Russia, when polytheism flourished. Often depicted on ringssymbols of gods, animals, kind and various texts.

Today, archaeologists find ancient rings dating back to the beginning of the 10th century. Starting from this period and until the 15th century, the rings were blackened silver seals with round, rectangular, hexagonal shields depicting fabulous animals and birds. This is due to the fact that people in Russia believed in the existence of goblin, water, mermaids and other creatures, sought to appease the spirits.

In the XV-XVII centuries, the symbolism on the rings with the widespread spread of Christianity has changed a bit. Now more and more often there were images on jewelry in the form of a cross. Engraving in the form of warriors, saints, birds and animals appeared on the rings. However, even at this time, most images look somewhat sketchy. Few more jewelers at that time achieved high craftsmanship.

The main motifs used in images on ancient Slavic rings reflect military prowess and signs of power. All because they wore them in order to emphasize their position. Since the reign of Ivan the Terrible, rings have come into fashion so much that almost all fingers are decorated with them. The ring, which was worn on the thumb, was called "attack". Many ancient rings with stones, with intricate images, family symbols and other drawings do not carry any semantic meaning, since at one time they were already used as decorative ornaments.

Wedding rings

A separate theme in jewelry is wedding rings. For the first time they began to be used at a wedding ceremony, as well asother decorations, in ancient times. The first evidence of wedding rings comes from Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire. The absence of a beginning and end in a circle symbolizes the eternity of family happiness. However, wedding rings were not always made of gold, as we used to think. In some countries, they were made of silver, which meant the purity of the intentions of two lovers.

The ring exchange ceremony in Egypt was performed as a sign of unearthly love and fidelity, as it was believed that marriage and love between two people is a gift from the gods. Then the Romans adopted this tradition. There, men who wanted to get married had to ask their parents for the bride's hand, and as a promise to take care of her, protect and provide, they gave them an iron ring. If the bride reached the age when she could already get married (usually it was the onset of childbearing age), the future husband gave a smooth gold ring for the wedding.

Ancient Greek philosopher Plutarch explains why wedding rings were worn on the ring finger of the left hand. This is due to the fact that the thinnest nerve extends from the ring finger, which connects the left hand to the heart. Putting a ring on the ring finger, the ancient Greeks respected marriage. Exactly the same tradition was in the Roman Empire.

Modern bridal fashion allows for classic rings with a smooth surface, paying homage to tradition. But engraving on rings, decoration, combination of several metals and new alloys are gaining popularity.

Metals and stones

Jewellery was widespread throughout civilized society. The era was replaced by an era, certain styles went into the past, and others appeared in their place. The materials from which the jewelry was made were dictated by fashion and craftsmanship.

To create antique rings, jewelers used a noble metal - gold. We althy people from the upper classes or we althy merchants could afford such rings. In addition to gold, silver, bronze, tin, copper, and brass were used.

Rings with stones in black, red, green, blue and other colors have always been in fashion. Transparent gemstones such as amethyst, ruby, emerald, diamond, alexandrite, citrine and others have been and are especially popular as inlays in any historical period and in the present. In regions rich in pearls, the latter was often adorned with jewelry. True, the life of a pearl outside its native environment lasts about 150 years due to the influence of external negative factors that it is exposed to in the process of wearing. That is why in antique shops and in private collections, antique pearl jewelry can be found no older than the 17th century. Rings inlaid with colored glass in combination with precious stones have become widespread in past centuries.

The use of enamel in jewelry has been known to mankind since the times of Ancient Egypt and Byzantium, which came to Europe only in the 12th century. But in the Middle Ages, this craft was forgotten and until the 19th century it was not used due to complex technology. The new life of enamel was given by the appearance of style"modern" in both architecture and jewelry.


As already mentioned, in the past, not everyone was allowed to wear rings on their fingers. Particular attention was paid to symbolism. Each nation had its own beliefs and outlook on life. This influenced the formation of symbolism among various civilizations. However, each nationality traces a thin thread that unites the idea of \u200b\u200bthe existence of people all over the world. This can be discovered by observing how the art of jewelry has developed in different times and in different territories.

So, the swastika is found in the images of the most ancient peoples around the world. Before it was used by the Nazis to represent the Third Reich, it was a symbol of the rotating Sun, goodness and prosperity.

In the past, people used images of animals in order to identify themselves with traits, or, conversely, to endow themselves with the character inherent in this beast. The most popular were drawings of birds as a symbol of peace. In many nations, according to legend, it was the birds that participated in the creation of the world. The horse occupied an honorable place in symbolism and meant power and might, the wolf symbolized strong-willed traits and spoke of the freedom-loving owner.

Legends of the Rings

ring of omnipotence
ring of omnipotence

The rings are shrouded in many legends and mysteries. These stories were both made up and actually happened. Of the stories invented, perhaps the most famous is the story of the ring of Omnipotence, which was written by J. R. R. Tolkien.

In the Scandinavian saga "Treasures of the Nibelungs" the main characterSiegfried takes possession of a ring that turns everything around to gold.

No less famous Solomon's ring, which gives he alth and well-being to everyone who puts it on. According to biblical legend, the wise man gave this ring to King Solomon, saying that when anger befalls the ruler, he just needs to look at the jewelry. On the outer side of the ring was carved an inscription in the Jewish language: "Everything will pass." And this inscription sobered Solomon for a long time when he succumbed to anger and passions. But one day he was so angry that he wanted to throw the ring and, taking it off his finger before throwing, he noticed another inscription on the inside "This too shall pass".

Often in legends and tales, the ring is a symbol of power and might. It endows its owner with some supernatural powers.

Antique shops

vintage rings
vintage rings

To purchase vintage items, it is better to go to an antique shop. Employees of such stores often, in addition to being engaged in trade, are also well versed in the styles inherent in certain eras, and will be able to help you make a choice, give practical advice. Do not neglect the reviews of the store, and it is better to collect as much information as possible about the company that sells antiques.

How to determine the age of a ring?

You can independently determine the age of a handmade ring and distinguish it from a fake. True, you need to understand that only an examination through analysis can determine the most accurate date. Suchexamination can be carried out at home, but it will be more superficial than that which is carried out in the laboratory. Knowledge in the field of properties of various metals will be an indisputable advantage in this matter.

Gold and silver are not magnetized, and gemstones do not get scratched when pressed hard against the glass. This is one of the first possible verification options. In addition, jewelry was usually branded or engraved by the craftsman.

The presence of patina on the metal is also one of the signs that the ring is old. However, do not flatter yourself, because it will not be difficult to age the metal in a short time, especially since such a procedure can be done even at home. It is worth paying attention to damage to the metal, because after lying in the ground for more than one century, the metal is deformed. In any case, it is quite difficult to distinguish the original from the fake.

How much do vintage rings cost?

secret ring
secret ring

It all depends on the metal, the presence of precious stones and the craftsmanship of the piece of jewelry. So, a gold antique ring with a stone will cost fabulous money. And an ordinary bronze ring with symbols dating back to the 10th century can cost around two thousand rubles.