Posie rings have a fascinating history dating back to the Middle Ages, and were often exchanged as tokens of love and fidelity between partners. These rings, with their personalized inscriptions of love and commitment, were deeply personal and intimate tokens of affection.
From ornate and decorative designs to simple and solemn bands, posie rings carried hidden meanings that only the giver and recipient would understand. Inscriptions were typically placed on the inside of the band for privacy and intimacy.
While they are not as popular today as they once were, posie rings remain an important historical artifact and a captivating symbol of love and devotion from the past.
True definition and origin of Posie Rings
Posy rings, also called poesy rings, are a type of ring that originated in medieval Europe and gained popularity during the Renaissance. The term “posy” is derived from the French word “poésie,” which means poetry or verse. These rings were often crafted from gold or silver and featured a short verse or poem inscribed in Old French, Latin, or Old English with incorrect spelling that conveyed messages of love, friendship, or devotion.
Before 1350, Lombardic script, which utilized rounded capital letters, was the norm for lettering on posy rings. Subsequently, Gothic script gained popularity in later examples. Goldsmiths of the time possessed a repertoire of stock phrases, from which customers could select specific inscriptions to be engraved on their rings. The phrases “A true friend’s gift” and “A loving wife during life” were among the most frequently chosen inscriptions. These inscriptions were often accompanied by decorative motifs like hearts, flowers, or birds.
Posy rings were typically given as gifts on special occasions like weddings, engagements, or betrothals. Nowadays, the term “posy” is largely outdated, and instead, people commonly refer to this practice as engraving or inscription. Consequently, these rings are considered antique or vintage jewelry pieces and are highly sought-after by collectors and enthusiasts alike due to their historical significance and sentimental value.
How to Choose a Posy Ring as Your Wedding Ring
When considering a posy ring as a wedding ring, there are several practical tips to keep in mind to create a beautiful and meaningful symbol of your love and commitment. Here are some concrete tips to help you create the perfect posy ring for your special day:
1. Choose the perfect message
The first step in creating a posy ring is selecting the perfect message or inscription. Posy rings typically feature short phrases or verses that convey sentiments of love, devotion, and commitment. Some popular examples include “love conquers all,” “till death do us part,” and “faithful to the end.” Take the time to choose a message that reflects your relationship and the love you share.
2. Choose the right metal
While gold was traditionally used for posy rings, modern couples have a wide range of options to choose from, including platinum, silver, and rose gold. Consider your personal style and preferences, as well as your budget when selecting the metal for your ring.
3. Personalize the design
Once you’ve chosen your metal, it’s time to decide on the design of your posy ring. While simple bands with engraved messages are a popular choice, some couples prefer to add a bit of sparkle with diamond accents or intricate scrollwork. Consider your personal style and any special features you would like to incorporate into your ring design.
4. Find a skilled jeweler
The final step in creating a posy ring for your wedding day is finding a skilled jeweler to bring your vision to life. Look for someone experienced in creating custom posy rings and be sure to view their portfolio to ensure they can produce the style and quality you desire. Take the time to research and find a jeweler you can trust to create a beautiful and lasting symbol of your love.
Impact in the Modern Jewelry Design
The enduring legacy of posy rings is evident in the way they continue to inspire modern-day art and design, particularly in the field of jewelry making. Contemporary jewelers are continually drawing inspiration from the designs, inscriptions, and symbolism of posy rings to create beautiful and meaningful pieces of jewelry.
One of the ways that posy rings have influenced modern-day jewelry making is through their use of inscriptions. Just as posy rings of the past were inscribed with messages of love, friendship, and devotion, many contemporary jewelers now incorporate similar inscriptions in their work. These inscriptions can be anything from heartfelt messages of love to personal mottos and affirmations.
Furthermore, posy rings have also been depicted in various forms of art. In literature, the novel “The Posy Ring” by Catherine Czerkawska is an exploration of the history and symbolism of posy rings. The painting “The Posy Ring” by John William Waterhouse, on the other hand, depicts a woman wearing a posy ring on her finger. This painting, like many other depictions of posy rings in art, captures the beauty and meaning of these special rings.
Beyond their influence on modern-day art and design, posy rings remain a cherished reminder of a bygone era. These rings are not only beautiful pieces of jewelry but also carry with them a rich history of love, friendship, and devotion. The inscriptions on posy rings offer a glimpse into the personal relationships of those who wore them, providing a window into the emotions and values of the past.
Posy rings are a testament to the enduring legacy of love, friendship, and devotion. From their origins in medieval Europe and the Renaissance to their continued influence on modern-day art and jewelry design, posy rings hold a special place in history and in the hearts of those who wear them. Whether you are considering a posy ring as your wedding ring or adding one to your collection of antique and vintage jewelry, the inscriptions on these rings offer a glimpse into the personal relationships and values of the past, making them a cherished and meaningful symbol of love and commitment.