The bishop ring has quite an impressive history which is being preserved today.
Traditionally, the ring was a part of the Catholic bishop's attire and made of gold or silver with an amethyst stone on top. The ring represented the bishop's relationship to God. It signified his "marriage" and devotion to the church.
Bishop rings were traditionally engraved with a cross on the side and a diocesan seal on the top. Bishops used the rings to create seals in wax on official documents.
The practice of kissing the bishop's ring as a sign of respect for his authority is something that is still done in the church today.
The History Of Bishop Rings
These rings were typically very large and heavy in order to stand out as a sign of religious authority and power.
Amethyst was typically used, which has been associated with peacefulness and spirituality. Its purple color is very regal, and the stone is said to prevent drunkenness.
Today, the bishop ring is still used as a religious symbol. However, these rings have also become fashion statements, especially in biker and rock n' roll fashion. The strength and authority they convey make them desirable pieces of biker jewelry.
Though the bishop ring has maintained many traditional design characteristics, they are now being made using different insignias, colors and metals. Here are five different styles of bishop rings you should check out.
1. Christian Crosier Rings
The Christian crosier is also referred to as a bishop's staff. It is in the shape of a shepherd's crook. Traditionally, a bishop would carry this staff during service as a symbol of his governing office.
The symbol of the crosier has been added as a design element to the bishop's ring. It is typically manufactured with a very flat top on which the crosier sits. The Christian crosier symbol is engraved on the top of the ring, usually on silver or gold.
These rings have a very kingly appearance and maintain the imagine of authority that traditional bishop rings carry. Primarily a men's ring, these pieces are perfect for bikers wanting to display authority and style.
2. Christian Crown Rings
The symbol of the crown is one of ultimate royalty and authority. When applied to a bishop ring, the symbol of the crown is typically placed on the sides of the ring. This is where the cross was traditionally placed.
These rings are usually made with an amethyst stone sitting on top and either a gold or silver band. The symbol of the crown, one of honor in the Roman Catholic church, presents a more elegant and luxurious look when engraved on a bishop ring.
The purple color of the amethyst stone used in most Christian crown rings adds to the feel of royalty and power. The size and weight help add to this effect, as well. These rings work well as pieces of biker fashion. They are symbols of leadership and respect.
3. Ruby Bishop Ring
Although the traditional stone used in bishop rings is amethyst, rubies are being used to create a different look and feel for this style of ring.
The deep, red color used in many ruby rings gives a more elegant and graceful look. These rings work well for both men and women who are into biker fashion.
Ruby bishops' rings are typically made with gold or silver bands. They often have the traditional cross engraved on the sides. Diamonds are often set around the ruby. This gives the ruby bishop ring a more luxurious, even glamorous look.
Although these rings are more elegant than other bishop rings, they still project an attitude of strength and authority. This is achieved through the heavy weight and thickness of the band and the size of the stone.
4. Women's Bishop Ring
The bishop ring is historically known as a men's ring. However, this ring style has been innovated over the years. Now, women's bishop rings are now quite popular. The woman's bishop ring has a more sleek and elegant design than other more traditional rings.
The shape of the stone sets these women's rings apart. It's common to see more long and angular stones used in the women's bishop ring. Amethyst and ruby stones are often cut into smaller oval or square shapes.
These women's rings are typically made with gold or silver bands. They can include the traditional cross, crown or crosier symbols on the side. Diamonds are often set around the stones. The most elegant of all the modern rings, they are great additions to the biker ring style.
5. Cross Bishop Ring
This is the most traditional symbol used on the bishop ring and is still very popular today.
The cross is the most recognizable religious symbol and was traditionally used on the sides and flat tops of bishop rings. The Christian cross was and still is a symbol of authority and devotion.
Within this style, there are several variations of the cross design other than the Christian cross.
The Maltese cross is often used and has eight points which create a star or V effect. These crosses are very strong in appearance, giving them a very different look than the traditional cross.
Rings are also being made with the Jesus crucifix symbol engraved on the sides and top. This symbol fits perfectly into the hardcore imagery of biker fashion. Other variations of the cross include the Celtic cross, Greek and patriarchal crosses.
These are being used more and more in the bishops ring style.
Our rings include a wide variety of cross designs using different styles and stones.
Find the Perfect Bishop Rings for You
We design and produce more than just the traditional bishop's rings, and have a wide range of pieces to choose from.
Each style mentioned above is available on our site along with other types of biker rings and jewelry. Browse our bishop rings to find the right style for you.
We also offer pendants, bracelets, cuffs and other biker and gothic accessories for the true hardcore biker.