Rings are one of the oldest and still most widely worn forms of jewellery. Historically, they have been worn and enjoyed by men as much as by women. In this talk, Rachel Church will look at the history of rings and how men have worn them, from the iron rings of Roman soldiers, the gemset rings of the medieval period, to the diamonds of the 18th century gentleman and rings chosen by fashionable men today.
Rings have been used to seal letters, celebrate love, protect against evil, remember the dead and show status, fashion and identity. This talk will look at surviving historic rings as well as the creations of contemporary jewellers to ask what we can learn about the men who owned and wore them, examining letters, wills, portraits, novels and stories to uncover the rich and often surprising history of these pieces.