A Universal Favorite? The Startling Truth about Sterling Silver Rings
You already know that we love sterling silver rings in particular - for their history, for their beauty, for their variety and for the ease of wearing them (and wearing lots and lots of sterling silver rings!).
You already know that we love sterling silver rings in particular -
for their history, for their beauty, for their variety and for the ease
of wearing them (and wearing lots and lots of sterling silver rings!).
Indeed, throughout history, sterling silver rings have been used for
multiple purposes: as wedding bands, as bearers of the family crest, to
seal letters of import, to carry the image or a lock of the hair of a
loved one, even to hold a dose of the deadliest poison.
And so, it is somewhat shocking to learn that sterling silver rings
are not necessarily beloved in all cultures, some of which even have
sanctions against wearing sterling silver rings. Most curiously, three
very hoary cultures that did use sterling silver jewellery stand out for
their avoidance of sterling silver rings. Chief, and oldest, amongst
these ancient peoples are the Assyrians: no rings have been sighted in
portraits and sculptures from ancient Mesopotamia, nor have sterling
silver rings - or rings of any sort, for that matter - been found
amongst the relics of the great Assyrian civilization.
No less surprising is the absence of sterling silver rings from the
glorious Celtic society of ancient Eire (especially in light of the
popularity, today, of the Claddagh silver ring, which springs from the
same culture). Much other jewellery
has been found on the luscious emerald isle, but no sterling silver
rings have been among it. This despite the belief that ancient Celtic
society was matriarchal - and, in modern times at least, sterling silver
rings are associated primarily with women.
Last but hardly least we must cite the Eskimos of northern climes.
When Admiral Robert Peary first arrived in the arctic, he was shocked to
learn he could do nothing with the scads of sterling silver rings he’d
brought with him - and which he’d hoped to use in bartering with the
locals. But the Eskimos would not take his rings for love or money.
Unlike the absence of sterling silver rings rings amongst the
Assyrians and sterling silver rings amongst the Celts, the reasons for
which remain a mystery, the absence of sterling silver rings amongst the
Eskimo is quite fathomable. Not only would the precious silver in
sterling silver rings become cold and uncomfortable in the frigid arctic
air, but it would contract and expand with changes in temperature,
threatening to cut off the wearer’s circulation. So perhaps it is not
all that surprising to learn that Eskimos never have worn, and do not
today wear, sterling silver rings.
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