Finger rings

Measurements for finger rings

Finger rings can be made of a number of metals. They can be plain hoops or have a bezel. They may have had settings containing gems, intaglios or glass. These can still be present, but often you will find only remains of the adhesive, or nothing at all.

  • Roman rings can be gem set rings, clasped hands (fede rings) or spiral rings with a snake head.
  • Early Medieval rings were also spiral rings, but they tended not to have the snake head. Also twisted wire rings, plain bands, gem set and decorated bezels were also produced during this period.
  • Medieval and Post Medieval rings have a greater variety of forms. Medieval Stirrup rings have a distinctively shaped setting. By the 16th century the settings and the inset material became better made. There are also plain band rings and decorated bezel rings with geometric patterns. Clasped hands (fede) rings appear again in the 12th century. In the 14th and 15th centuries there were a number of iconographic rings, depicting saints on their bezels. Posy rings, signet rings and mourning rings date from the Late Medieval period. Describe with as much detail as possible.

Example Description:

An incomplete Post Medieval cast copper alloy finger ring. It has a flat, oval bezel, which is decorated with a geometric pattern of one diagonal line and 2 dots. The bezel and the shoulders are quite thin, with a shallow taper into the hoop. Part of the hoop is missing, and the ring is quite worn. The ring is 23mm in diameter and 2.5mm thick. The bezel is 15mm long and 8mm wide. This is likely to date to the 15th or 16th century.

Example records