Masonic Ring – Should I get one Freemason ring or more than one ring?
Your first masonic ring is always special. It represents the beginning of your life in Freemasonry. Some Masons do have more than one ring. Each is special and has important meaning to them. This article hopes to identify how many rings is good to own and possibly wear at one time. As a Master Mason myself, I own 3 or 4 Masonic style rings. My first Masonic ring was gold with a blue stone. I gifted it to my father when he was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. It was an honorable present for him from me. Many family members do this gifting of Masonic Rings from Grandfathers to Grandsons & Fathers to Sons. Thus having multiple rings does happen.
I have friends in Masonry that are collectors of Masonic Rings too. They have York Rite, Shrine, Scottish Rite, and Blue Lodge Freemason rings. One of my good friends from the Scottish Valley has a wedding style ring with all the different appendant bodies he belongs too on it. Another of my good friends from my mother (original) blue lodge makes his own rings from extra gold. Yet, another brother which I chat with regularly only wears his Past Master Ring and I myself for years have decided not even wear a ring. It varies based on the Mason.
What is a good first Masonic Ring?
The Masonic Ring and the symbols on it are the most recognized emblems of the Masons. It is worn on the third finger of the right hand in most cases. Yet, some
Freemasons wear them on the thumb, pinky finger, or pointer finger. Remember, only Masons should wear a Masonic ring and each lodge has it’s own traditions for the rings too.
These Masonic Rings can be silver, steel, tungsten, or gold are the most popular options. Some masonic rings are most often handmade jewelry, as the masons are considered highly skilled trade workers. But, lesser quality metals generally are not handmade and they come regular finger sizes. I got a tungsten ring at a Grand Lodge Communication one year and it was sized at each normal finger size. So, it was sized 9,10, 11, 12, 13, and so on. But, they didn’t sale 11.5,12.5,13.5, and so on. Which caused me to select a ring that turned out to be alttile to tight on my finger versus a comfortable fit. Hence, I stopped wearing it and gave it away to a brother in my lodge. My advice is to get a custom made ring so you know it fits perfectly.
What is the meaning behind it?
Well, in the degrees – the symbolism is explained in great detail. But, for newbies or non-Masons, I will give you the cliff notes of the rings meaning. It represents the manual working tools of stonemasons. A masonic ring features a compass and a square with sometimes a letter “G” is on it’s center point. The exact meaning of the “G” is taught in the degree work. The debate is fun to read on various websites that claim to know it’s meaning – you may find many different answers online. But any good Master Mason knows the true answer and he keeps it safely within his heart.
Did you know, some Grand Lodges don’t use the “G” with the square and compass. Therefore, there are Masonic Rings without the ‘G’ entirely. Other appendant bodies substitute the “G” for a Hebrew Letter. Yet, some master jewelers make fancy one of kind rings with other symbols in the square and compass such as the the skull and bones. Some masons love to invest in these fine pieces of art and enjoy showing them off when out in the community or at a lodge meeting. The truth is that speculative masonry was born out of the operative craft. So the symbols from the operative masons were made use of by modern Freemasonry.
The history of the Freemasons is a long and highly symbolic one. Dating back to the 14th century, the original purpose was to regulate the qualifications of stonemasons; your position in the organization ranked how good a mason you were, be it an apprentice, journeymen, or master mason. Today, the Masons are considered the world’s largest fraternity. While each Masonic Grand Lodge exists and operates according to a set of ancient principles, known as the Landmarks of Freemasonry, these principles have far eluded any universally accepted definition. Each particular lodge within a Grand Lodge also has it’s own bylaws to function according to Masonic Law. When it comes to the Masonic ring, does the same holds true? Not exactly, very few Grand Lodges or Lodges have set Masonic Law to how a brother mason should have and wear his ring in. Each brother is free to wear or not wear a ring. Furthermore, each masonic ring may have a very different meaning between one brother and another. However, the ring itself, regardless of the meanings of each part, should only to be worn by a Freemason.
Alot of Freemasons get different rings stone colors.
The color of stone behind the square and compass on a red has meaning too. Beyond looking really cool if the ring has a stone, it is typically either a blue, red, or black onyx. The Blue stone represents the blue lodge in freemasonry. Some brothers believe it can also represent water or revitalization, and it can re-energize all aspects of yourself. Personally I think that any answer beyond the blue lodge is totally made up unless a brother can point to the degree work. I have heard that blue is represents a highly dedicated worker in a blue lodge. But I find this idea to be nonsense because many Masonic brethren were this color stone ring and don’t regularly attend lodge.
Moving on to red stone masonic rings, it represents Red Lodges in some areas and to some brothers the fourth degree in Freemasonry – Royal Arch Masonry. If you want to learn more about the Royal Arch – check my article on York Rite Freemasonry. I spent writing that article and it is very informative, so check it out after you finish reading this one! But wait, to other Master Masons, the red stone stands for being a member of the Shrine! Fine jewelers love to make up fantastic stories of red stones are for inner power that is said to give you strength to take risks and try new things or that you will passionately die for the fraternity. Personally, I think that is just good marketing to make a Freemason hopefully excited want to buy the ring. The black stones, diamond encrusted, and other colors are style purposes only. But remember, it is your ring so you can tie any meaning to the color if you want, I recommend trying to dig something up from the degree work so other brothers will look at you as a man with a good memory of his favorite part of a degree.
Either way, the stone color matters little to me because a masonic ring symbolizes several concepts for Master Mason. The circular nature of the ring demonstrates the circle. This circle represents to some brethren the bond one has to the brotherhood of freemasonry, in the same way that wedding rings show a bond of one person to another. By wearing a Masonic Ring, you are offering the world a visual sign of your Mason Obligation and membership in the fraternity.
What is a Masonic Signet Ring?
Honestly, this is an amazing style ring to get. I own one myself and I am thinking about getting another one too! A true Masonic signet ring is used as a seal to validate the authenticity of its owner. The word “Signet” comes from the word “Sign” meaning that the ring provides a symbol, a sign or a signature to officially stamp or mark important documents.
Seal of Authentication: While we are unsure of the exact date that Masonic rings began to be worn by the fraternity, Signet rings have been a part of religion in many cultures throughout history. In past eras, Signet rings were worn by Kings, Popes, Bishops, Roman Emperors and other high ranking church officials and noblemen as a sign of their nobility, importance and power. Probably the most famous religious signet ring in the world, today, is worn by the Pope. The Pope’s ring is called the “Fisherman’s Ring”, a very beautiful ornate gold seal ring, which denotes the seal of his authority. Upon the Pope’s death, the Cardinals break his ring and a new signet ring is created for each new succeeding Pope. Papal rings can never be pre-owned, it is not only considered unacceptable, but an abomination and therefore profane.
Did you know that the Masonic use of the word profane means: Pro = without , Fanum = temple. Literally, it denotes a person outside the temple….or a person who has not been initiated. Therefore, a signet ring distinguished an individual as one of: a high social standing, a member of a society, a symbolic certification of who they are, what they stand for, a military distinction, a family coat of arms, or a religious belief. The purpose of the ring which is to be used to seal mark the dignity and importance of its wearer.
In other words they provided a visual authenticity proving that the wearer was not only truly who he said he was, but they symbolized his power in the community. At one time in history, the theft of a signet ring was punishable by death. While originally only worn by royalty, religious officials and noblemen, as time passed, tradesmen and merchants, too began wearing these rings. While royal signet rings were lavishly decorated with precious metals, rich enamels and gems of every color and facet, the tradesmen and merchants’ signet rings had mottoes or logos cut into them.
Should you get a Signet Ring to add to your Masonic Ring collection?
Maybe, if you are into that type of ring. Let’s consider how the Masonic Signet Ring is made first. Okay so, the basic ring is first created without any ornaments upon its face. Generally it’s an over sized flat metal surface. The surface is cut with an imprint of the symbol or symbols which the wearer wishes to display. This is really cool because you can customize your Masonic Ring to your liking if you dealing with a Signet Ring Maker directly. This symbol is, in most cases the Masonic square and compasses, with the Letter G at its center. A true Masonic Signet Ring leaves a raised (positive) design upon the material onto which it is pressed, (usually wax). When pressed into the soft material, the material is forced into the incised area of the Masonic ring’s face and this creates the raised image design on the material being stamped. The jeweler should be able to offer you, the opposite of a cameo (raised face) type of ring, which leaves a depressed design in the wax. And that is pretty stinking cool, hence why I own one – do I use it for it’s intended purpose? Nope.
Fraternal Masonic Rings Are Fun To Have Different Styles for Different Occasions
Freemasons proudly wear their mason rings as a symbol of their ongoing obligation of loyalty, their brotherhood and as a visual statement that they are a member of the oldest fraternity on Earth. In the United States, it may take some time to receive a Master Mason’s degree, but that just gives a new brother more time to shop for a cool ring to wear. Within most U.S. jurisdictions in the United States, members may receive their Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason degrees within a few months. Therefore, it’s up to the Worshipful Master of a particular lodge to allow an Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft to wear a Masonic Ring.
But, upon completion of their Master Mason degree, they are now entitled to display their authenticity as being raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. Thus, by being gifted or purchasing and wearing a masonic ring. Freemasonry is a society of many secrets shrouded in esoteric symbols. The masonic ring is one of the outward displays of freemasonry that features these signs. Wearing the ring of a mason encourages a certain social etiquette. The following is a description of the ways for wearing them.
How to Wear a Masonic Ring – On which finger should I wear my Masonic ring? There is no right or wrong finger or right or wrong hand on which to wear your Masonic Signet Ring. Most married men wear them on the opposite hand from which they wear a wedding ring…usually on their 3rd finger. They are also popularly worn on the pinky / little finger.
How to Wear a Masonic Ring – Which direction should the Square and Compasses face? This ring isn’t the Irish claddagh ring. Wearing it one way versus another doesn’t mean your single. Nor does it mean your officer in the lodge or not. Nor does it matter if the 2 ends of the Compass point toward you or away from you. This subject is one on which Grand Lodges have made no regulation because they have more important details of the fraternity to deal with. Popular opinion seems to be widely divided because the decisions of the Worshipful Master only last for a brief period of time and then a new one comes in to run a particular lodge.
Just wear the ring the way you want to. You can use reference points, such as when the emblem of the square and compasses is displayed on a building, or a button, universal custom requires that the points of the compasses point downward. But, you could use how it displayed on the Altar in the lodge as another reference point. While you may wear your ring with the 2 legs of the compasses pointing toward you if you enjoy looking at the Masonic Logo. Other brothers say it a way to share that you are Master Mason to the world and the world should enjoy looking at the Masonic Logo. If you have a signet ring, then 2 legs of the compasses should, therefore, face away from you, so you can imbed the image of their “seal” into the wax…so that the resulting waxen seal which was created by the ring has both legs of the compasses pointing downward.
Other Masonic Rings to invest in…
- Knights Templar Ring – A symmetrical cross in the center. This ring signifies freemasonry’s lineage claim to the Knights Templar, who protected Christian crusaders on pilgrimages to the Holy Land.
- The Scottish Rite – A mix of symbols of the degrees
- The Shrine Ring – The Shrine ring displays a sword and a crescent.
- The Royal Arch Ring – Triangle with a triple Tau
- The 14th Degree Ring – a plain band of gold with an equilateral triangle enclosing the Hebrew letter Yud. The inside typically reads, “Whom virtue unites, death will not separate.”
- The 32nd Degree Ring – Double Eagle Symbol
- The 33rd Degree Ring – 33 in a triangle (if and when you become one)
- The Past Master – compasses with a rocker (if and when you become one)
As there are many variations of freemasonry, there are also many different kinds of rings.These include Blue Lodge, Eastern Star and other appendant bodies too – I hope this blog article inspired you to enjoy Freemasonry more or possibly to join the fraternity. Lastly, only a master mason should wear a ring.