Rings are one of the most powerful and evocative pieces of jewellery. In its most rudimentary form, a ring is a simple band, composed of any material from bone, wood, glass to precious metal, which encircles the finger.
Rings are worn not just for personal adornment and displaying wealth and status, but also for a number of symbolic reasons including a statement of love, religious and superstitious belief, providing proof of identity and also marking births and deaths.
Finger rings trace their origin back the ancient world and each civilisation created specific styles which incorporated motifs and designs particular to their cultural identity. For example the ancient Egyptians wore signet rings often in the form of a scarab beetle or the sun which were motifs important to their society; also rough gemstones such as rock crystal and amethyst were carved and pierced through with gold wire and rotated around a hoop.
Rings are often seen as a symbol of love, with the never-ending circle denoting the infinity of sentiment. This concept was first invented by the ancient Greeks; it was however during the Roman period, that rings were formally introduced as part of the marriage ceremony.
Berganza’s collection of ancient, antique and vintage rings encompass a profusion of varied designs, from complicated ornate rings through to simple dainty rings, every single one unique and hand crafted.
Medieval amethyst engraved ring, circa 14th-15th century.
Medieval amethyst engraved ring. Set centrally with a crescent shaped amethyst in a closed back rubover setting, to a solitaire design featuring a 'pie-dish' bezel, opaque gallery and closed backholing, leading down to shoulders engraved with an ornate scrolling motif and flowing through to an engraved slim flat shank, approximately 1.8mm in width. Tested yellow gold, circa 14th-15th century.
See Scarisbrick, D., 'Rings: Jewelry of Power, Love and Loyalty', 2007 p. 257-259 for further examples of this type of setting.