Rings have been used for centuries to symbolize bonds between individuals. While this is often a romantic bond, friendship rings allow for this symbolic gesture to be extended to platonic relationships. A true friend is an invaluable gift, and so it's only natural to want to celebrate that friendship with a powerful object whose significance is known to the both of you. For these purposes, a frienship ring is the ideal piece of jewelry.
Essentially any style of ring can be a friendship ring, but some are more popular than others. Silver is a particularly popular precious metal for . Sometimes friendship rings will feature engravings with words such as friend or friendship, love or commitment. See the Resources section for two elegant options from RedEnvelope, one which features amethyst and two diamonds and another that has an oval-cut citrine gemstone and two diamonds.
Rings that connect one on top of the other like puzzle pieces are particularly popular as friendship rings of late. This feature further highlights the meaning behind a friendship ring. RedEnvelope offers a set of six rings that fit together in this manner, each of which features a semiprecious gemstone. Rings that each have one half of an image that can be completed when put together, such as two sides of a heart, are also a favorite among those looking for this type of symbolism.
When shopping for friendship rings at a jeweler or trusted online retailer such as RedEnvelope, remember that you want to find something that you will both appreciate. Most friendship rings are sold or bought in pairs and tend to be identical. This further highlights the idea of a bond. You may want to shop with your friend for the ring, if it is not meant to be a surprise, to ensure that you are both pleased with the design. You should also consider that most friendship rings are worn on fingers other than the ring finger, as this tends to denote romance. Therefore, make sure you know the accurate measurement of the finger you intend to wear it on.
Wearers of Note
There have been many notable wearers of friendship rings over the years. According to the New York Times, Lynda Bird Johnson, daughter of former President Lyndon Baines Johnson, received a gold friendship ring from actor George Hamilton in 1966, while her father was president. Former New York Governor Hugh L. Carrey, according to The Telegraph, presented real estate magnate Evangeline Gouletas a sapphire and diamond friendship ring. They later married and then divorced. The Boston Herald reports that Princess Diana was wearing a diamond ring given to her by Dodi Al Fayed when she died, given to her just hours before the car accident that took her life.
The Claddagh ring, which hails from Ireland, has been popular in the United States since the mid to late '80s. The ring features two hands clutching a heart, on top of which sits a crown. The Claddagh ring symbolizes both love and friendship. The men's version of the ring is heavier and larger than the female version. This ring is a good choice for both sexes, and is also a good choice if you're looking for something that might lean more towards a message of love while remaining platonic.