Select Group
Select Posting
1. The History of the Puzzle Ring
Monday, 03 Oct 2011

Puzzle rings connect us with ancient cultures of long ago. Although the exact origin of these beautiful and intriguing rings is lost in the mists of time, it is believed that puzzle rings first appeared in Asia over 2000 years ago. From there, they followed the early trade routes to the Middle East, where they were widely used as wedding bands.

There are many tales of Arabic chieftains giving the rings to their wives to ensure fidelity. The stories have it that if the lady decided to be unfaithful, she would have to take the ring off -- once off, it would fall apart, and not knowing how to reassemble it, she would have some fancy explaining to do to her husband.

Contrary to popular belief, the puzzle ring is not a Turkish wedding ring. Rather, it was given as a gift by the father of the bride to the groom on the day he was to be married. This was supposed to calm the groom's excitement, by keeping him busy until the evening trying to put it back together.

Puzzle rings first appeared on the European continent in the 12th century. During the Renaissance, they were sometimes called "memory rings", because they could be worn with one or more of the bands loose as a reminder of a task to be accomplished.

And recent

Puzzle rings were wildly popular in Australia in the mid ‘70s, which is when I first made their acquaintance. The idea of wearing a ring had never even occurred to me before then, but I soon joined the multitudes. I can remember thinking at the time, “what kind of sick, twisted person could come up with something like this?”

In one of life’s little ironies, some 25 years later the answer turned out to be “me”.

Since re-inventing them about 10 years ago I have created perhaps 40 different designs. Of course, this number could have been way higher if all I wanted to do was come up with new designs, since when you understand the principles involved, there is literally no end to the possibilities, which is one of the things I like about them.

With the exception of Oldie, a direct copy of the design so popular in my Uni days, and Luke, which was copied from a ring an acquaintance (no prize for guessing his name) wore, every other design is my own creation.