The thing about rings is that they have been around forever. Like literally, forever. It feels like for as long as humans have had fingers, they’ve searched for ways to improve upon their aesthetic. The earliest rings on record can date back to 2500 B.C.E. in Ancient Egypt as well as Sumer. What makes the ring an especially versatile piece of jewelry is how it can represent so many things: love, rebirth, wealth, power, social status, even death. Signet rings were often used as a form of identification. It does feel like there is nothing a ring can’t do, if given the right opportunity.
How badass is this modern-made ancient style deerhorn ring with Sumerian cuneiform carving??
For us, rings are one of our favorite pieces of jewelry. As fantasy nerds, we’ve both gotten lost in stories about rings of power, used for both good or ill. One of my absolute favorite movies (no, really, ask anyone) is Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. The ruby ring she wore on her index finger held powerful magics that she used (and abused, but to hilarious effect) has captured my imagination since I was a kid. I wanted that ring so much that when I found a vintage ring that kinda, sorta, if you squinted just right, looked like hers, I snatched it up! No powers yet, but maybe a long-lost aunt will put me in her inheritance and I’ll finally come into my own. It could happen.
Elvira about to ruin someone’s day, looking fabulous in the process.
Magic rings surrounded my childhood. Not just Elvira, but also cartoons like Captain Planet and the Planeteers. You may scoff, but I still become enraged if I hear the tap being left on for no reason. Lord of the Rings also springs to mind as an obvious example, which I won’t dive deep into because there are thousands of books and essays written by smarter people than I am that you can look at. From Green Lantern to The Flash to The Wonder Twins, magic rings are all over comic book history. Is it any wonder that it’s one of my favorite tropes?
This show made me terrified to litter.
But besides that, rings in history have also excited me. From the dangerous poison rings used by Lucretia Borgia (don’t tell Ian, but I have a replica of one somewhere), to memento mori pieces worn in the Victorian age, to examples of glorious excess like every single ring Elizabeth Taylor has ever owned. I remember going with a dear friend of mine to see the Van Cleef and Arpels exhibit and being endlessly delighted with everything I saw that came from her collection. These are not magical objects, per se, but they do have a power in their own right. They are sparks, dreams, whispers of creativity brought to life through skill and talent. And the best part? They are endlessly portable!
She may have been a murderer, but Lucretia had style for sure.
Our ring collection is modest, but the imagination, the dreams going into making them, is vast. I hope, if you choose to pick one or two out, that you look at a chalcedony and imagine taking flight over your hometown, or maybe at an amethyst and think about seeing into the future. Or maybe, just remember what brought you to us and what chapter in your life it would come to represent.