Posted by Steve "Rifflo" Fitch on Nov 24, 2012

The Ring: From Middle-Earth to Modern History

Recently I had the honor to be a guest blogger for Jens Hansen and write an article on the ring as jewelry. The following is a sample of my submission.

[A ring is] “The article of jewelry around which centers tradition, antiquity, utility and symbolic meaning of the greatest reverential character.”

In the JRR Tolkien classics, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the One Ring represented the embodiment of evil, control and hate. Its presence and influence was such that some would say that the One Ring was the tenth member of the Fellowship.

“There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not share power.” – Gandalf

The ring was of a simple gold appearance without design or identity. The simple outward appearance of the One Ring is purposeful. The simplicity was meant to hide the internal nature of the ring and to hide its real purpose. The lack of design further strengthened the Rings disdain for a cultural identity to any people in Middle-Earth. Of course, when put to fire, the real nature is revealed as the inscription magically appears on its surface;

Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul,

Ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul

One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them,

One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In our history, a ring has represented unions of marriage, social and political allegiance, trophies, religion, and intrigue.

“Marriage requires a person to prepare four types of rings: engagement ring, wedding ring, enduring, suffering” – unknown author.

It was the Egyptians that started the tradition of wearing a wedding ring on the third finger of the left hand. This was due to their belief that a “love vein” was within the third finger which led directly to the heart. The wedding ring is arguably the most know and greatest symbol that a ring holds which is a gesture of love and commitment. A historic ring representing love and commitment would be the Claddagh Ring. Created by Richard Joyce, while in captivity, was inspired and later presented to his love whom he married.

My new wedding band!

When looking for my own wedding ring years ago, I wasn’t used to wearing rings so I chose a very plain gold band. When designer Jens Hansen and Weta Workshop released the One Ring – Gold Plated Tungsten Carbide recently and I knew I wanted to own it. Later this turned into a thought of “I wonder if my wife would be alright with me wearing this as my wedding band”.

After talking to my wife about it, and after some rolling of her eyes,she finally agreed. Now I wear it as my wedding band, as proud as any nerd could be! A friend of mine found it funny that my wedding band was something depicted as the…

You can read the full article on the Jens Hansen Blog here.

Follow Steve “Rifflo” Fitch on TWITTER: @HobbitSteve

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2 Responses to “The Ring: From Middle-Earth to Modern History”

  1. tricksy says:

    Haha. You, Sir, have totally taken nerdiness up a notch… or two… or a couple hundred. *bows*

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