Unconventional Men’s Fashion: Bishop Rings


Not only women but men are also in a perpetual search of fierce accessories. Traditional bands and rings will fit pretty much any outfit but they fail to knock your socks off. What if we tell you that there are some cool unconventional rings that won’t let you cold? Bishop rings will surely take pride of place in your wardrobe. Thanks to the formidable design, eye-catching stone inlays, and commendable symbolism, these rings are much more than fashionable bling-bling. 

How Do They Look

The design of a bishop ring revolves around a single stone, normally, amethyst. It was chosen for a reason. Due to its purple color, which was associated with abstinence from passions, spirituality, and integrity, amethyst became very popular as decoration for various Christian relics and utensils. Because clergy of both the Catholic and Orthodox churches wear rings with this stone, amethyst is often called cardinal, episcopal, pastoral, or bishop’s stone.

According to the established tradition, only bishops had the right to wear amethyst rings. Other clergymen wear rings featuring stones corresponding to their status. For example, sapphires and rubies are intended for cardinals while archbishops wear yellow topazes. Be that as it may, traditional bishop ring designs feature a very large stone. Usually, the central flat part of a stone has a carefully engraved diocesan seal. It was used to seal secret documents as well as during official church functions, such as initiations.

Modern bishop rings may not have stone engravings because now it is difficult to find skillful stonecutters. Instead, their rings sport large oval amethysts or have no inlays at all. In the case of the latter, a ring often carries traditional Christian symbols (the staff of a bishop, a budded cross, miter, etc.). Each bishop has the right to choose symbols on his own, which makes their rings unique.

Bishop rings are usually cast in gold, although other metals are also allowed. If a ring features an amethyst, then the stone is necessarily oval in shape as a simplified symbol of fish (fish is one of the most important symbols in Christianity). Also, an oval is something like a halo in which the phrase “God the Son” is encrypted.

The Symbolism of Bishop Rings

The first evidence of bishop rings dates back to 610 AD. These rings were given to bishops as a sign of the special post they held in the church. They symbolize the bishop’s lifelong alliance with the church. Bishops are the successors of the apostles, and their rings directly indicate their functions.

A bishop receives his ring during the ordination ceremony. Previously, a bishop ring was always worn on the middle finger. Being massive and reflecting light at the edges of a gemstone, a ring is noticeable when a bishop raises his hand for a blessing. In addition, it is associated with the tradition of kissing a bishop ring as a sign of respect and humility.

Each bishop receives his ring at the inauguration ceremony. As a piece of his wardrobe, it remains with him until the end of his term. After the death of a clergyman, his ring can be transferred to his heir or set off for storage in archives of the diocese. If neither of these options is selected, a ring is melted down and buried with a bishop.

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Why Wear Bishop Rings Today

Today, Christian fashion is up for grabs. You can wear bishop rings despite your affiliation with the church. On a par with crosses and crucifixes, these jewelry items became available for everyone as a fashion statement. They still retain their meaning within the church but in terms of fashion, you can give them any significance you want. 

Hands down, a bishop ring is an awe-inspiring accessory for bold fashionistas. Although original bishop rings are only for men, since bishops are chosen from the sterner sex, trendy amethyst rings are available to ladies as well (check out some cool options here https://www.bikerringshop.com/collections/bishop-rings). You can wear them on the same finger as bishops, or any other finger of your own choice. 

As for materials, these spectacular rings are fashioned mostly from gold and silver. Upscale items will feature genuine amethysts and other eye-catching gemstones (rubies or garnets, for example). Inexpensive items usually have CZ stones. Whereas original bishop rings carry a single stone, their fashionable counterparts may have an unlimited number of stones. For instance, a halo of small clear stones can frame a large purple gem. Items without any inlays are also popular. Various finishing (engraving, blackening, sandblast, etc.) may be in place instead of stones.

What to do with a bishop ring? Add it to your look to get a knockout accent. If you are lucky to get your hands on a truly valuable item made of precious metals and stones, it can become your family heirloom. In any case, bishop rings are worthy of being added to your jewelry collection.

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