The ring is usually a continuous, round ribbon or torus, which is usually made of metal or other hard materials like wood, bone, stone, glass or gemstone worn on the finger. The word ring means a piece of jewellery worn on the finger, if we wear any kind of jewellery on any other body part the name of the body part will appear in the jewellery’s name such as earring, necklace.
Some people wear them as symbol of wealth and exhibitionism, although rings have a symbolic function. For example, marriage, extraordinary performance, high status or authority, it served as signal for memberships in organizations in historical times. In myths and tales rings were often vested with spiritual and supernatural powers.
Nowadays, rings are made of many different materials according to their functions, Wedding and engagement rings are made of noble materials like gold, silver, platinum and palladium. Costume jewellery is usually made of plastic or cheaper metal alloys like steel, copper or zamac but the industry makes rings from various different materials.
The first rings worn on fingers were found in ancient Indian archaeological artefacts which are from 3000 B.C. Also from other sources we have a good reason to assume that wearing rings goes back even further than that.
Also in Egyptian and Middle Eastern civilizations wearing rings had a great significance. In the ancient Egypt we meet the first signet ring containing writing, monogram and trading sign. These were most probably used for verifying regulations or trade deals. In Egypt the imagery of the sacred scarab appeared as well.
In the Greek and Roman times it was popular to wear rings which were dominantly made of silver, gold, bronze, ivory or amber. Greeks and Romans took the habit of wearing rings over from the Egyptian culture and also their functions, symbolizing verification, wealth and power. Later on, wearing rings on fingers become so popular that slaves wore them too made from some kind of cheaper material.
Naturally, the tradition of wearing rings continued in medieval Europe. First the pontificates, lords and later on wealthy tradesmen wore rings keeping their verifying function. These rings were carried out in a high level, made of gold, decorated with gemstones. The fashion of wearing rings spread quickly in Europe from the most privileged layer of society to commoners. It became a status symbol to wear more than one ring. Processing gemstones became more and more popular from the 12th century. Diamond was discovered by the jewellery industry in the 16th century and as technology evolved they had the opportunity to process it.