Long before Freemasons began wearing Masonic rings, gold was deemed to to be one of the world's most precious metals.
All great civilizations built treasures of gold and various golden objects were reserved for their most important rituals.
Throughout the centuries, gold has been a symbol of wealth and power.
Both the Egyptians and the Romans equated gold with the
sun and it's life-giving force. Pharaohs, Kings and the wealthy and
powerful, alone, wore gold as a symbol of their rank, power and status.
Across the world, other ancient civilizations in other countries such as China, Greece, the Etruscans, the Hebrews in Israel, Mesopotamia and the Middle East had goldsmiths.
The Pre-Columbian (before Columbus) American cultures of the North American Indians, Aztecs, Mayans, and Incans were also highly skilled in making gold jewelry.
While we know Masonic rings gold, silver or any other base metals, were not in existence in King Solomon's era, what is known is that Solomon created the Holy of Holies, the Middle Chamber, entirely of gold.
1Kings 6:22: "And the whole house he overlaid with gold until he had finished all the house; also the whole altar that was by the Oracle, he overlaid with gold."
Not only did Hiram (at King Solomon's bidding) overlay the entire Holy of Holies with gold, but the bowls, snuffers, basins, spoons and censors were pure gold.
The Temple's beams, post, walls, doors, the 2 huge Cherubim with a combined wingspan of 20 cubits were made of gold, as were the candlesticks, flowers, lamps, tongs...even the floor and the entrance doors were overlaid with gold. ..and, of course the door hinges, too, were made of gold.
(See 1Kings 6:20, 6:22, 6:28, 6:32, 7:50 and Chronicles 3:9, 4:7 and 4:21)
While other metals such as brass, silver and iron were also used...then, as now, gold was deemed to be the most valuable metal.
A Masonic rings gold symbolizes the purity of the
Middle Chamber, however pure gold is not recommended for Masonic jewelry. Gold is
very soft, and while it is the most malleable (bendable) of jewelry-grade
metals, it is not as durable as brass, silver and copper.
Therefore, these metals (along with others) are mixed with the gold to increase its strength and durability.
The different percentages of the alloy metal creates the slightly different colors in gold Masonic rings.
Karats: The purity of gold jewelry is measured in karats. 24 karat gold is pure gold. Several tons of mined ore is required in order to produce one ounce of pure gold.
The scientific abbreviation for gold is "Au". In Spanish, it is called "Oro".
In German, it is "Gold", in Swedish, it is "Guld", in Dutch, it is "Goud".
18 Karat Gold:
Masonic Rings of 18 karat gold are 18/24ths...or 3/4 pure gold. In the United States, it is marked "18K". In Europe, it may be marked "750"), which means 750/1000...or 3/4 gold. 18K = 18 parts gold and 6 parts alloy.
14 Karat Gold:
Masonic Rings of 14 karat gold are the most commonly used in Masonic jewelry. 14K is 14/24ths ...or slightly more than 1/2 pure gold. It may be marked 14K or 585, which is the European designation for 58.5% pure gold. 14K = 14 parts gold and 10 parts alloy.
10 Karat Gold:
In the United States, 10 karat gold is the least amount of gold that can legally be marked or sold as gold jewelry. 10K = 10 parts of gold and 14 parts alloy. 10K gold is the hardest, most scratch resistant and most durable.
Ring pricing is based on 4 factors:
1. Karats (10, 14, 18)
2. Gram Weights (total weight of gold on the ring)
3. Design (artistry)
4. Craftsmanship (construction)
A Masonic Rings gold karatage, alone, does not fully reflect the time and craftsmanship nor the artistic design which goes into Masonic jewelry. Gold and white gold Masonic rings are both very popular choices in Masonic jewelry.
Gold content in a White Gold Masonic Ring is less than their higher gold content counterparts, however due to their higher alloy makeup, white gold Masonic rings are more durable, more scratch resistant and do not need to be polished as often as Masonic rings gold jewelry.
Entered Apprentice Rings and Fellowcraft Rings:
While there are many searches performed on the Internet for "Entered Apprentice Rings" and "Fellowcraft Rings", up until recently, the only Masonic lodge ring available has been the ring which commemorates the raising of a brother to the Sublime degree of Master Mason.
In the United States, it is possible for a man to attain the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and then go on to become a Master Mason within just a few months.
Most men wait until they have been raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason and then purchase a Master Mason ring.
It is inappropriate to wear a Masonic Master Mason ring before you officially become a Master Mason.
Most Blue Lodge Masonic rings gold, or of other metals, contain the square and compassses and are created in the form of a Masonic Signet Ring.
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