Bishop Rings – More Than Jewelry

Have you ever heard of Bishop rings? As the name suggests, these pieces are made for Catholic Bishops as a symbol of Episcopal authority. But we are not going to talk about religion and its …


Have you ever heard of Bishop rings? As the name suggests, these pieces are made for Catholic Bishops as a symbol of Episcopal authority. But we are not going to talk about religion and its attributes right now. Instead, we’d like to talk about the fashion appeal of Bishop-esque design because bishop rings are one of the most interesting trends in men’s jewelry. If you’d like to learn more about their look and significance, you’re in the right place.

Not Only For Men

For starters, we’d like to emphasize that Bishop rings are not only for men. Original pieces are crafted for Catholic clergy, and it has no room for females. But fashion jewelry is a totally different thing. It can be worn by anyone. Therefore, the design intended for males it can be successfully adapted for smaller feminine fingers.

Because Bishop rings are highly-ornate and even in-your-face pieces, they organically look with women’s wardrobes, accessories, and other pieces of jewelry. It’s no secret that girls like large, glistening, and expensive-looking jewelry; Bishop designs tickle all these boxes.

How Do They Look?

Bishop rings are the embodiment of power and a special position on the ladder of the church hierarchy. Therefore, their appearance is fully consistent with their supreme status. These are larger-than-life pieces forged from a solid piece of gold. Gold isn’t obligatory but it’s the best choice to express luxury and loftiness associated with Bishops’ duty.

The centerpiece of any bishop ring is a ginormous amethyst stone. More often than not, it has an oval shape due to its resemblance to the halo. Amethyst is chosen for a reason. This purple stone is a symbol of purity, sincerity, and frankness. Because of its significance of blessing and prudence, it was highly valued by church ministers. In ancient times, church utensils and clergy clothes carried a scattering of amethysts of various shapes and colors. It comes as no surprise that amethysts found a way into clergy jewelry, too.

Although such a ring is given to a bishop by the church (and, therefore, it is a church property), its design is always unique. Every bishop chooses off his own bat which symbols and images to incorporate into the design. More often than not, they utilize monograms and religious symbols to get a one-of-a-kind ring. After a bishop’s death, the church gets his ring back to put it in storage or melt it down for other purposes.

Modern Bishop Rings

So, original Bishop rings are quite large and heavy, custom-mage, gold, and embellished with amethysts. While costume jewelry tends to preserve these distinctive features, it brings a touch of novelty into traditional looks. Instead of silver, it explores the possibility to utilize silver, platinum, and even non-precious metals. Majestic purple amethysts look awe-inspiring, there is no doubt about it, but why not replace them with something equally beautiful such as rubies or sapphires? No sooner said than done.

It’s not even necessary to cling to a single humongous stone. A halo of small clear gemstones around a larger colored counterpart is hands down the favorite design for women’s Bishop rings. Sometimes, designers abandon large stones altogether. Instead, they utilize a set of smaller pave stones arranged as a cross, crown, monogram, or any other symbol. You can see some of these sublime designs here

Along with that, a setting may carry various symbols, too. Those are either embossed or carved images on the shank’s exterior. To help them stand out, jewelry designers cover them with contrasting finishes, introduce interesting textures (for instance, tooling or sandblasting), or line them with gemstones.

Why Pick a Bishop Ring?

Can you resist something as massive and beautiful as a bishop ring? These pieces were not necessarily designed to capture attention but they successfully accomplish this mission. With a large shiny stone mounted into a signet-like setting, your presence will never come amiss.

The beauty of bishop rings is that they preserve the look and the field of custom-made jewelry. Many jewelry manufacturers craft exclusively made-to-order bishop rings. This means that you can come up with a unique concept for your ornament and expert goldsmiths will bring your ideas to life. Needless to say, custom-crafted pieces carry a rather hefty price. If you’re looking for something cheaper but don’t want to compromise on quality, your best bet is hand-polish pieces. Those are molded in small batches and brought to perfection by hand. Due to manual labor being involved, each piece preserves individual features.

Bishop rings are a choice of bold individuals who enjoy bold accessories. You won’t see many people flaunting a dazzling amethyst-clad ring, and this means that your accessorizing efforts will always look dashing and sensational.

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