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Men's Masonic Jewelry Guide

Masonic Jewelry - Who are the Freemasons?

Hollywood and conspiracy theories are responsible for how the general public perceive the organization known as the Freemasons. According to many stories, they are a secret society plotting to take over the world, they are descendants of the Knights Templar (which is true) and are guarding the Holy Grail to this day (the book certainly made a compelling argument that this is the case) or they are a cult that performs sadistic rituals under the cover of night. While these ideas make for provocative novels and films, this is not what the freemasons are about. In simple terms, wearing Masonic rings signifies that a man is a member of an organization, a club, a brotherhood of men known as the freemasons. What gives it its mystique is its long history and long list of famous and infamous members.

Men's Masonic Jewelry - Masonic Ring

This is the cornerstone of all Masonic jewelry. In the early days of freemasonry, the Masonic signet ring was not only a symbol of membership in the brotherhood, but also as a seal for correspondence. When sending out important documents and letters, the member would dip his ring in hot wax and press it upon the paper to seal it. Like a notary embosses documents today, this wax seal was a way to authenticate papers. Symbols play a huge role in Masonic tradition and there are a variety of marks that can be displayed on a ring. Often the symbols denote the degree or level of the member and the specific lodge they are member of, but there are other symbols that are universal to the brotherhood.

Probably the most recognizable and most common symbols are the square and compass, which symbolize the Blue Lodge. All other lodges and factions sprung from the Blue Lodge, it is the core of freemasonry. Found in the center of these two symbols is the letter "G." Because freemasons historically were builders and looked to the sciences for answers, the "G" stands for geometry. Later, it also referred to God, as the builder of the Universe.

Other symbols that might be found on men's Masonic jewelry are the trowel, which represents an even life and solid relationships; a Scimitar or Fez, which designates the Shriner's order; the sun, which means that the member is a past Lodge Master. These are just a few common symbols. There are many, many other symbols to choose from when designing gold or silver Masonic jewelry.

Antique Masonic Jewelry - Other types of jewelry

If a member already has a ring, there are plenty of other jewelry items that can be given as a meaningful gift. Cuff links are popular as are tie pins and clips. If he wears necklaces, pendants are also available. For a very special gift, an engraved pocket watch bears the symbols on the cover. All pieces come in gold and sterling silver depending on personal preference.

Masonic jewelry - Who can wear it and what is the proper way

No one is going to be arrested for impersonating a freemason, but it certainly won't win any friends. A person should really be a bona fide member of a Lodge and, according to tradition, has achieved the 3rd degree or Master Mason level, if he is going to wear Masonic jewelry. However, a case where a non-member may wear a piece is if antique Masonic jewelry has been passed down as a family heirloom. Of course, membership in a lodge is often a family tradition as well.

There is no set in stone way to wear men's Masonic jewelry. Some men like to wear their rings so that the emblem faces them and others wear it so that others can see it. Which hand and finger is also left to personal preference. Typically, men wear it on the right hand if they are married and usually on the ring finger. Unmarried men wear it on either hand and some even wear it on their pinkies.

Caring for Masonic jewelry

Many pieces are quite intricate in design with lots of crevices for dirt to collect. Because many pieces also have enamels and other colored components, soaking the ring in hot water or with harsh chemicals is a bad idea. Stick to wiping it down with a soft cloth regularly and then gently scrub with a soft brush and some mild soapy water to get the grime out as needed. If the pieces are sterling silver, use cleaner specifically designed for silver jewelry like the wipes or creams to remove any tarnished spots.

Whether the pieces are new or antique Masonic jewelry, there is great pride in wearing these pieces. It is a brotherhood where men can gather, do good works and improve themselves through fraternity and the jewelry is a symbol of their dedication to the Order.