The first biker rings were made in Mexico. The tradition of wearing massive metal-made jewelry was born a little later after the biker movement had been established. Many people, when talking about Mexican rings, imply exactly biker rings. Let's learn what Mexican biker rings mean, how they look, and what the most popular motifs they carry.
The History of Mexican Biker Rings
After the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), Peso, the Mexican currency, has undergone a devastating devaluation. Literally overnight, Centavos (coins), ceased costing anything. There had been an abundance of coins that didn’t have any value. Mexican craftsmen saw an opportunity to use the depreciated money in a new way. They began to melt coins down and use the metal to construct jewelry items. They shaped rings as skulls, animals, as well as adorned them with Aztec and Indian ornamentation, etc.
In the early days of biker clubs, somewhere between 1940 and 1950s, motorcyclists often hang out in towns bordering on Mexico, bullying locals or getting drunk. At some point, tough looking Mexican rings caught their attention. Back in the day, a biker ring made in Mexico cost merely 5 dollars. It is a no-brainer to understand why these trailblazing finger jewelry pieces quickly spread among motorcycle enthusiasts all over the United States.
Another reason these rings sparked bikers’ interest is the infamous Johnny Law prohibiting the use of brass knuckles. Bikers, as you may guess, are ferocious and hot-tempered people. There was a tension between many motorcycle gangs so fisticuffs became a usual thing. In such hand-to-hand fighting, brass knuckles were indispensable. Unfortunately for bikers, the brass knuckle ban illegalized this cold weapon. But bikers find a clever solution to legally use brass knuckle substitutions. Massive and heavy, Mexican rings became a godsend for short-fused men on motorcycles.
So, being originally made in Mexico, and successfully blended into the biker culture, these burly metal jewelry items with original motives started being called Mexican biker rings.
The first biker rings have been made of nickel, bronze, and brass. These metals comprised the content of Centavos that sourced the Mexican rings’ production. Although today many manufacturers utilize other metals, such as steel and even titanium to ensure greater durability and reduce the cost, you can still find many biker-themed rings crafted from the original metals or their combination. Such rings have a signature yellow-ish color.
Today, the number one material for biker men's rings is silver. The pure metal is not utilized because it is soft and can easily break or bend. However, with a little addition of copper, silver acquires necessary hardness and durability. There are a few reasons that made silver the biker’s most loved metal. First of all, its cold white sheen resembles the luster of chromed motorcycle parts. Second, silver accessories stand out when combined with black biker clothes and leather details of motorcycles. Finally, this noble metal has antibacterial properties, it doesn’t change its color with time, and, as some people say, it has positive energy.
Gold and platinum, although commonly used in jewelry production, can rarely be found in Mexican biker rings. It is due to the fact that they are more expensive, can’t withstand harsh maintenance, and, in general, don’t fit the down-to-earth biker attitude. Nevertheless, sometimes you can see gold-plated details against silver setting to make a product more expressive and eye-catching.
As for stones, it is not uncommon to see encrusted rings but full-metal pieces are more popular among bikers. After all, these hardy men value biker rings for their symbolism rather than the brilliance of precious stones. If a band is embellished with stones, it is likely to be inexpensive cubic zirconia or black onyx gems. If a ring has a great value (both, as a symbol and money-wise), it may be emblazoned with rubies, garnets, sapphires, emeralds, and even brilliants.
Biker rings are so much more than a traditional smooth metal band. They are real works of art, which merge ancient motifs, silversmiths' dexterity, and exceptional durability. Most often you will see the following themes in Mexican rings:
The skull is one of the most popular symbols in biker culture. However, you should not think that people began to wear jewelry with skull images only in the twentieth century. In fact, the symbol is known from ancient times. It was worshiped by tribes all over the world, from the courageous Vikings, skilled warriors of ancient China, to the shamans from the Amazon forests. The Aztecs, who once lived on the territory of modern Mexico, also revered the skull. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that you can often see skulls carved on jewelry made in Mexico.
Bikers have accumulated the significance of this awesome symbol from different cultures and adapted it for their own culture. For them, a skull is no longer a means to keep strangers away. It is rather a guardian angel that saves these daredevils from injuries and death when they test the speed limits of their mean machines.
It is fair to believe that a skull will be whatever you think it is. For some people, it will symbolize death, supernatural forces, and fear, while for others, it is a symbol of a new beginning and resurrection. Both interpretations have the right to exist.
If you are looking for the most skull-full biker jewelry, take a look at this phantom skull ring. Its setting boasts a large skull image surrounded by eight smaller, nonetheless ferocious, skulls. Each skull is carved with the utmost attention to detail. Just like any other item in our catalog, it is made from quality 925 silver and carries a luxury heft. You may require some time to get used to its burly shape and extra weight on your finger but we guarantee you will never want to part with it. With such an ultimate piece of biker jewelry, you will feel bold and strong. Its audacious design will make heads turn whether you are among the fellow bikers or hang out with ‘civilians’.
This interpretation of a skull symbol can be seen only in Mexico. The goddess of death is highly respected among local people. When it comes to our world, it is an occasion to celebrate. For Mexicans, death doesn’t mean the end. It is rather a beginning, a deliberation from cuffs and misery, a resurrection, and the after life. They even have a widely-celebrated holiday to revere death and remember late relatives. One of the traditions of this day is to bake skull-shaped sweets and cover them with swirly and floral patterns.
A bit later, women started embellishing their faces with similar patterns to pay tribute to the goddess of death. They appear as a young girl but with sunken eyes and protruding cheek bones. Both, skull-like pastry and the festive make-up are called sugar skulls. You can read more about sugar skull history and traditions in this article.
So, sugar skull rings are definitely jewelry with Mexican roots. Despite featuring some feminine vibes, even hefty bearded bikers don’t shy to rock these awesome rings. Such an item will also become a desired gift for a biker chick.
In this ring, we’ve combined classic sugar skull jewelry techniques, our own perception of this symbol, and painstaking manual work by our skillful craftsmen. The ring is mold from solid sterling silver that adds luxury and sturdiness. The deep floral carvings throughout the skull are treated with silver blackening to make them even more defined and profound.
Two faceted emeralds sparkle from the skull’s eye sockets. To add even more pizzazz, we highlighted some elements with gold plating. Even though sugar skull rings are cheerful and beautiful products, we try to preserve the original biker spirit in them. That’s why we complemented this item with three small skulls emerging from the sugar skull’s forehead and temples.
Once, Indians tribes inhabited the entire territory of Northern and South America. Today, ancient buildings that have survived to our days and a handful of descendants bearing the legacy of their long-gone ancestors are reminiscent of their glorious past. In modern Mexico, about 6% of the population still speaks one of the Indian languages, and more than 20% of residents identify themselves as Indian peoples. The largest Indian nationalities preserved in Mexico are Nahuatl, Maia, Zapoteca, and Mixtecos.
Long story short, Mexicans are proud of their roots and try in every possible way to demonstrate this. Therefore, it is not surprising that Indian motifs occupy Mexican jewelry. In rings, bracelets, and pendants, you can see Indians in all their glory, wearing feathered war bonnets, smoking a pipe, or hunting. Among other popular symbols associated with Indians, you can meet feathers, tomahawks, arrows, etc.
In this Indian ring, we tried to convey the indomitable force and power which Indians has been imbued with, as well as their inseparable connection with nature. Our silver ring features a traditional Indian feather headdress that adorns the skull's head. Indeed, this is a Mexican ring with a biker twist.
You can easily determine that this is an Indian skull. Just look at the stern expression on his face, his frowned brow, and the battle scars imprinted on his forehead and cheeks. By wearing such a ring, you will let passers-by know that you are not a person to mess with. Cast from sterling silver and polished to a shine, it attracts glances and sparks interest. Each feather is carved in detail to create a realistic and authentic Indian image.
The Aztecs, who once lived on a vast territory including the borders of modern Mexico, have undoubtedly left their mark on the culture and history of this country. Ancient Aztec symbols and deities are revered as much as the symbolism created by more modern Indian tribes.
One of the most revered gods was Huitzilopochtli. The Aztecs implicitly carried out any of his orders. Being the god of the sun and war, Huitzilopochtli was the Aztec’s main deity. In addition to his major duties, he patronaged the blue clear sky and helped with the hunt. He daily battled the forces of night and darkness to prevent them to swallow the sun. Normally, Huitzilopochtli was depicted as a warrior wearing a helmet that resembles a hummingbird, with a shield adorned with five fur balls, and a bow (sometimes, a bow was replaced with a spear or darts).
Tezkatlipoka. The god with the mysterious name "Smoked Mirror" personified the winter, north, night wind, and the starry sky. The Aztecs called him the deity of the night, the patron of thieves, sorcerers, and priests. Tezkatlipoka controlled the birth and death, knew everything about each person, and inspired sacred horror. This god was depicted with a black face covered with yellow transverse stripes, or as his twin spirit jaguar, whose spotted fur resembled the star-dotted sky.
The lord of the underworld, Mictlan, was depicted as a skeleton or a man with a skull instead of a head. His images often featured a bat, spider, and owl as his companions.
The goddess Coatlicue wore a snake dress. A huge statue of the goddess is installed in the capital of Mexico. Instead of a head, Coatlicue has two serpents. As a necklace, she wore severed arms and torn hearts. Sharp animal claws grew on her toes. The goddess’ clothing was woven from wound serpents.
These and other gods can often be seen in Mexican biker rings.
This ring forged by our dexterous artisans features the image of Aztec’s god Kokopelli. The ancient Indians revere him as a god of fertility and abundance. They believed that he sent the gifts of fertility, harvest, and earthly welfare to the Indian people. He was also known as a god of newlyweds and their new families. Aztecs prayed to Kokopelli hoping that he would fulfill all their dreams.
According to the legends, he traveled to villages stopping at every yard. Outwardly, he looked like a regular person, although he always had a flute with him. People always felt and understood when Kokopelli visited their lands. After all, he was in charge of the season change. On top of that, people attributed weather changes to his behest.
It is believed that a person who wears Kokopelli jewelry invites fun in his/her life. Such an individual forgets the established social rules and enjoys himself without fear of misunderstanding from others. An owner of such a ring is always in a positive and good mood!
Horses and Horseshoes
As modern cowboys, bikers love and respect everything associated with horses. No wonder they call their bikes steel horses. A horse is a symbol of freedom, the power of which cannot be curbed. At the same time, it denotes friendship, companionhood, and trust. Mexican craftsmen put these values into their hand-made horse rings.
Another symbol associated with horses is a horseshoe. However, it has a slightly different meaning. Worldwide, a horseshoe is a symbol of good luck and financial well-being. The belief that a horseshoe brings happiness appeared in ancient Egypt. Back then owning a horse, let alone shoeing it, was a great luxury that only the richest Egyptians could afford. The hooves of the animals sparkled with golden horseshoes inlaid with precious stones. Finding such an expensive item for a poor Egyptian was an incredible fortune.
Another ancient legend says that once a devil himself, disguised a horse, came to Dunstan the blacksmith. He began to tempt and allure the blacksmith, trying to lead him astray. But Dustan divined his insidious plans and guessed that devil had been talking to him. He began to shoe the hoof with such harshness that the devil pleaded for mercy. The blacksmith let him go but with one condition - the devil would never cross the threshold of a house that has a horseshoe above the door.
Another version of why a horseshoe became a lucky charm is in the symbolism of a horse itself. This noble animal is considered to be a symbol of power and fertility. The image of a horse can be found on the coat of arms of many countries. Along with that, horses are mythical creatures. Pegasus, a winged horse, is a symbol of good luck.
If you are looking for a talisman to attract luck, or you are a horse enthusiast, you will definitely love our Rocker Horse Ring. In fact, it is a horseshoe and a horse ring, two-in-one. It will seamlessly blend with any biker image due to the rogue nature, irresistible appeal, and the sense of something wild and untamed.
Every detail, whether it's a harness, an expression on a horse's face, or horseshoe’s rivets, was drawn by our professional designers. Then, our craftsmen molded this ring from sterling silver and polished it by hand. As a hand-made item, the ring carries an imprint of individuality, which is important for maintaining its talisman status.
Indians believed that every person, be it God or a regular man, has a Nahual (or Nagual), a twin spirit or, in other words, a patron. The Nahual of Quetzalcoatl was Xolotl, who, according to legends, did not want to die when all the gods sacrificed themselves to create the Fifth Sun. Tezkatlipoka had a jaguar as Nahuak while the sun god could turn into an eagle. Mexicans still sense the connection with the animal world. That’s why they often wear jewelry with totemic animal carvings to protect themselves from failure and attract luck to their side.
In accordance with an ancient Indian legend, the sun god advised the Aztec tribes to settle in a spot where they would see a large golden eagle feasting on a snake while sitting on a cacti-covered rock. The Aztecs followed the advice and found such a place on the shores of the great lake of Texcoco. There, they founded their capital, Tenochtitlan (this name translates as the city of the sacred cactus). Today, the modern capital of Mexico, Mexico City, is located at this very place.
Paying the tribute to this legend, the Mexican state flag bears the image of a bird sitting on a cactus and devouring a snake. Someone calls this bird a golden eagle, somebody recognizes a falcon in it, while other people consider it to be a hawk. The truth is that this bird is Caracara, a feathered predator from the falcon family living in the Mexican prairies. The local name of Caracara is Carancho.
Imbued with the energy of the bad-ass predator bird, this ring ideally complements the image of a masculine and tough guy. We captured an eagle soaring freely in the sky but tirelessly scanning the terrain hunting down prey. He spread his beautiful and strong wings to boast his silvery plumage and the flexible yet strong body of a predator. Cast with respect to totem animals and Mexican culture, this ring by Bikerringshop put on your finger will immediately tell what you value most in life, namely, freedom, independence, and non-enslaved spirit. Our ring will give confidence, insight, and sharpness of mind you are looking for.
If you are looking for one hell of a ring, Bikerringshop is a place to go to. Our collections are bristling with diverting biker rings, both resembling the golden era of Mexican biker rings and featuring original one-of-a-kind design. We boast exceptional quality, top-notch 925 sterling silver, and a broad array of biker jewelry including rings, necklaces, pendants, wallet chains, belt buckles, and so much more. We craft every single piece by hand, the way it is supposed to be when it comes to authentic biker jewelry. Take a look at our diverse collection and we guarantee you’ll find a piece that not only resonates with your aesthetics but also has significance to it.