Gimmel rings, a.k.a. Gimmal ring, are two rings that intertwine or fit together. A couple would wear a ring each during their engagement. When they get married, they join the rings. The woman traditionally keeps the ring. It was, in the old times, used as the wedding ring. Do remember that at that time, men didn’t wear wedding rings because they were the ones who “own” the women.
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Yes, wedding rings and other jewelleries were a sign of a man’s ownership of a women. That has evolved, of course. Wedding rings and engagement rings are now signs of a couple’s love and commitment to each other.
Revival of Gimmel Rings
Gimmel rings were popular during the 16th century. The practice faded primarily because modern men found it “uncomfortable” to wear an engagement ring.
The design also became an issue. Men prefer big band rings and women prefer thin bands. Creating a design that men would find ok to wear becomes a bit complicated.
During the last decade, as women demand men to show more “visible” ways of showing their fidelity and commitment, the Gimmel Rings started resurging.
What Kind of Couple Should Wear a Gimmel Engagement Ring
A Gimmel ring comes with a tradition. It is not simply given away, at least not by tradition.
You have to be the kind of couple that values symbolisms because that’s what a Gimmel ring is going to be. The very act of first wearing the ring already entails a “ceremony”, not a big one, but a ceremony nonetheless.
Types of Gimmel Rings
There are different styles of Gimmel rings. Each style is associated with a specific tradition.
A couple would choose a “third person” to be a witness when they wear their Gimmel ring. The third person would wear the third ring. During the wedding, the three rings are joined together to become one. The ones who wear a three-ring Gimmel are:
1) Many couples who have a kid that is old enough to wear a ring usually go for this. It is especially popular when only one of the couples has a kid. It makes the kid feel he or she is more a part of the union.
2) Couples who met though a common close friend. They choose the person who became instrumental in their meeting to witness their engagement and hold the third ring.
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Each wears wears two rings that are joined together. During the wedding, they exchange one of the parts with the part of the other. Let’s say you have Ring A and Ring B. Ring A has Part 1 and Part 2. Ring B will also have Part 1 and Part 2.
During the wedding Ring A Part 2 will have to fit with Ring B Part 1. Ring B Part 2 will have to fit with Ring A Part 1.
This will required a bit of designing. For one, some couples would like the rings to look a bit different when they exchange from when they originally wear it.
Next, men don’t usually like wearing big stones unless they are rock stars.
This is probably one of the most popular Gimmel Ring Styles. There are two rings with one hand on each ring. During the wedding, when the rings are joined, they two hands should appear like they are clasping each other.
Eventually, this evolved. Some ring designs feature each hand holding half of a heart. When the rings are joined during the wedding, the hearts are complete.
There are some who use other symbols like a flower, bird, or fish. Some couples use multiple symbols or objects too.
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There are couples who opt to put a phrase on each ring. During the wedding, when the rings are joined, the rings are joined together to come up with a complete sentence. This could be their vow to each other or an important motto to live by. Here are some samples:
Ring A: For better or for worse… | Ring B: ‘Till death do we part
Ring A: Respect, Love, and Loyalty | Ring B: I promise you these
Ring A: Now & Forever | Ring B: Name of Woman & Name of Man
Ring A: Me and You | Ring B: Together Always
The celtic knot is probably the most popular knot used around the word because it is traditionally known to represents eternity. The knot has no beginning and no end.
However, you can use different kinds of knots or even create your own style. You can have two rings that is designed to look like vines. When joined together, the ring could form an intricate knot. You can have more than 2 rings. There are designers how managed to have 6 rings that could be joined together. The 6 rings were eventually given to the children that the couples had.
Half of a Shape
There are couples who have requested for the gem to be cut into half of its shape. When the rings are joined together, the shape of the gem takes form. There is only problem here, men don’t like wearing rings with gems. The designer will have to come up with way that would allow men to wear the gem without looking too feminine.
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Celebrities Who Used Gimmel Rings
No less than William Shakespear mentioned the Gimmel ring in Othello. Actually, he called it a joint ring but the description is unmistakably a Gimmel Ring. Matrin Luther and Sir Sir Thomas Gresham in Elizabethan England also gave the women in their lives a Gimmel ring. Sirt Thoma Gresham gave his wife a ring that said “What God Joined Together… Let No Man Put Asunder”.
Ring Adaptation and Evolution
Many believe that the puzzle ring is a product of Gimmel Ring. However, puzzle ring was made in Turkey. It is said that the royal ring designer was asked to come up with a way for the ring to break down when taken off. It was one of the ways the king could be ensured that the queen is faithful to him.
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