It’s no news that rings can feature numerous symbols. That’s right! A ring is not just a band of metal you were around your finger. A ring is a band of metal that stars diamonds, bows, arrows, engravings, letters, hearts, and many other things. When you wear a ring, it gives you a feeling of beauty especially when it features symbols packed with meanings. Do you want to know about a symbol that has been around since the Bronze Age? A symbol that features many embellishments, a symbol that serves many purposes, a symbol that has meaning? This symbol is not some overly grand and show-stopping motif, not at all. It is a simple belt.
You may be wondering how a belt possibly fits all the descriptions we mentioned. Not to worry, this article is here to guide you and educate you on everything outstanding about belt rings.
What Is A Belt?
A belt is a piece of leather, wool, or other material that is strapped to the waist. It is used to hold clothes in place, as a fashion accessory, or to hold tools/weapons.
We’re all familiar with belts and the designs available but not all of us are aware of the history of these accessories. It’s time you learned a thing or two concerning that.
Brief History Of Belts
Humans have been using belts as far back as the Bronze Age. Though not as belt rings, in this time and a few of the subsequent eras, it was simply a string. It was used to hold garments in place or to hold pouches. Commonly found in use among men.
The era that followed saw the introduction of girdles. Girdles were strips of fabric that offered support and compression. Men wore them to hold their tools or weapons and keep their tunic in place. In this era, women did wear girdles; usually beneath their torso to accentuate their breasts.
As time went on, women stopped wearing any form of a belt. It wasn’t until the medieval era that women rediscovered the fashion and purpose of this accessory. Colored belts in the military signified ranks and allegiance. Belts also indicated higher-class individuals at the time.
In the 1700s, the use of belts for men in the military grew immensely. Yet again, women no longer made use of belts.
When suspenders came into the picture in the 1800s, belts began to fade away. Somehow, women began to wear belts again; this time to define the waist and mostly with dresses.
Come the 1900s, the use of belts rose and fell at different times during this period. Sometimes, used mainly for fashion; Sometimes, as a utility tool; Sometimes, to hold trousers in place. The average width of the belt has also seen significant changes.
As of today, belts are a daily sight and used by all genders. Today, you will find belts not only in the clothes store but in the jewelry store as belt rings.
What Is A Belt Ring?
Simply put, it is a ring that features a belt. The belt can simply be engraved into the metal of the ring. But as is more common, the ring forms a buckle and strap which are sometimes locked together.
Features Of Belt Rings
- It has a buckle consisting of a frame, prong, and bar. • These ring features a strap locked in the buckle.
- It occasionally features holes embedded in the strap.
Symbolism Of Belt Rings
Buckle rings came into the picture in the 1800s, particularly during the Victorian era. Victorians had a trend of attaching meanings to various things, from animals to inanimate objects.
The fashion style of Queen Victoria usually influenced the fashion of Victorians. It is said that the Queen wore a belt ring in public that signified her membership of the order of Garter; an order of chivalry that was founded by King Edward in 1348 and still exists today.
It was common to find these rings among lovers. The strap locked into the buckle signified the never-ending love of the couple. It was also used to indicate if a person was single or attached to someone.
The meaning was not bound to romantic involvements alone. It could be given as a gift to a friend or family member to signify platonic love.
This ring was used as a remembrance ring when a loved one passed away. The belt and buckle symbolized strength and connection during grieving. Victorians used the ring as a representation of an enduring memory of their lost loved one.
Whether it’s for a significant other, a friend, a relative or a late loved one, these rings symbolized eternal love. They did many years ago and still do now.
Building Your Belt Ring
Now that you know what this ring is, its symbolism, and history. The next step would be to assemble your ring. The ring does feature belts as the center attraction but you can make this elegant piece all the more gorgeous. How? Read on to find out as we answer some common questions you may have regarding this ring.
What Metal Are Belt Rings Made Of?
No-one metal makes up belt rings. You shouldn’t have to get a metal simply because you were told that’s the only available metal. It’s not. In actuality, you have options to choose from. We are going to explain these options to you in an easy-to-understand manner but before we do that you should consider a few factors.
Factors To Consider When Picking A Metal For Your Belt Rings
- Metal Color: The colors of metals angle between warm sensations and cool sensations. If you want a warm feel, we recommend yellow gold or rose gold. And if you want a cool feel then you should go for the silver metals like white gold, platinum, and sterling silver.
- Metal Allergies: If you have sensitive skin you should stay away from metals that are not hypoallergenic. The most common allergic reactions are caused by nickel and copper. Both metals are used to alloy gold and even silver. If you suspect that you are allergic, your best bet would be to invest in platinum.
- Metal Weight: This factor may be considered more important when dealing with earrings. Still, for comfort, you can go for lightweight metals. Here, gold takes the win because platinum is denser. So, platinum will weigh more than gold of equal mass.
After considering the above factors, you’re on to the main selection for the belt rings.
Picking A Metal For Belt Rings
- Yellow Gold: When you think gold, the first color that comes to your head is yellow. This is because gold occurs naturally in that color but because of its softness can not be used in jewelry. If you’re looking for 24K which is 100% pure gold, then you can get a gold-filled or gold-plated metal; This features a more durable metal coated in 24K gold.
In most cases though, you would find gold alloyed with other metals like copper or zinc. To retain its characteristic yellow tinge, only small amounts of other metals are added to the alloy. The highest Karat you would find in yellow gold is 22K. This metal is a classic that is just gorgeous for belt rings.
- White Gold: As mentioned earlier, the color associated with gold is yellow. White gold breaks all those rules. Instead of a typical yellow, it has a white hue. It is so because the metals used to alloy gold are white metals. Metals like zinc, palladium, nickel, and silver.
The white metals are present in a significantly larger amount than yellow gold. It is common to find white gold in 18K(75% pure gold) and 14K(58.3% pure gold). The smaller the Karat, the more durable the metal.
Even as an alloy, white gold may retain some yellowish hues. To cover this up, the alloy is plated with rhodium; a white, durable, and hypoallergenic metal. The rhodium gives white gold it's signature white luster. The rhodium being hypoallergenic is used to protect the skin from possible allergic reactions to nickel, present in white gold.
- Rose Gold: This alloy comprises copper. Copper is reddish, so when added to gold will produce a pinkish alloy. The shade of rose gold depends on how much copper and sometimes, silver is present in the alloy. More copper means a deeper shade of red. Copper plus Silver means a lighter pink shade.
The vintage and romantic feel of rose gold have made it a popular choice among many people. If you’re associating your belt rings
with their romantic symbolism then it will only make sense to get them in rose gold!
- Platinum: It has a white and silvery appearance just like white gold. A distinguishing factor would be that it is a naturally white metal and white gold is not. It is also hypoallergenic and much more durable than white gold; it is highly scratch resistant.
Platinum will feel heavier than the gold of the same mass because of the difference in density. It is rather harder to work with and requires more of the metal to form shapes, so, it will cost more than white gold. If you’re going for affordability then white gold is for you. But if you want an elegant gemstone that will cause no allergic reactions then platinum is the metal for you.
- Sterling Silver: It has a grayish-white tinge. Silver just like gold has been used in jewelry for a very long time. It is also too soft to use in its pure form. Yet again, other durable metals are alloyed with a precious one to enhance their strength.
You will commonly find silver hallmarked with the digit “925”. This means that 925 parts out of 1000 are pure gold – that is, the alloy is 92.5% pure silver.
Silver is less durable, hence, has a shorter shelf life than most metals. Even so, it is a beautiful piece that is timeless and will make belt rings appear stunning.
After you have chosen the metal, the next thing would be gemstones, if you so desire. That goes to say that these rings are beautiful pieces with
or without gemstones. If you do want gemstones, check out our next header.
What If I Want Gemstones On My Belt Rings?
It’s quite simple really, if you want gemstones, get gemstones. Ask your jeweler about the gemstones available and make your choice. Below we’ve listed some common gemstones you can find in the jewelry market.
- Cubic Zirconia
Amongst others. Before you purchase any gemstones you have to be sure about their quality.
Determining Gemstone Quality
If you are getting a gemstone for your rings, the process involves a little more than picking the stone. You have to consider the 4 C's: carat, color, clarity, and cut.
- Carat: This seems like an obvious consideration, It is. Carat is the unit weight of gemstones which is equal to 0.2 grams. The carat weight will determine how big or heavy the stone appears to be. It is important to note that the higher the carat weight is, the more expensive a gemstone will be. You should choose the carat weight that suits your belt rings.
- Color: The color of a gemstone, such as a diamond, follows a color grading scale ranging from D to Z. Completely colorless diamonds start at D, further down the scale hints of yellow or brown become more prominent. Many other gemstones follow this scale as well. You don’t have to bother about color with lab-grown gemstones as they can easily be found completely colorless or completely colored.
- Clarity: This is a measure of the inclusions or blemishes present in a gemstone. As with color, there is a grading scale available for clarity. It ranges from “flawless” at the top of the scale to “included” further down the scale. These are represented by symbols:
▪ F means flawless.
▪ F means internally flawless.
▪ VVS1&2 meaning very very slightly included.
▪ VS1&2 means very slightly included.
▪ S1&2 means slightly included.
▪ And finally, I1,2 & 3 meaning included.
A gemstone that appears eye clean – that is without visible inclusions is more desirable to people. Gemstones like aquamarine call for less worry as they occur naturally in a flawless to near flawless state.
- Cut: This refers to the way a gemstone is cut and how well. The facets in gemstones serve as the mirrors that bounce backlight entering the gem as rainbow colors(fire) or white light(brilliance). We recommend gemstones graded as “excellent” or “very good” in a GIA certification for a cut.
Vintage Belt Rings
You will find new manufacturers of belt rings to purchase. And if you want the vintage ones that were made during the Victorian era, you can get them as well.
It is good to know that they are sustainable and environmentally friendly since the process of manufacture has taken place a long time ago.
How To Care For Your Belt Rings
If you want these rings to look good for a long time then you should care for them properly.
Every two weeks or after every other wear, you should carry out a simple cleaning process.
- Take a bowl, and fill it with water.
- Add drops of mild detergent or dish soap into the water. • Place the ring in the bowl and leave to soak for about 30 minutes.
- Use a soft bristle brush, perhaps a toothbrush, and wipe the ring all around. Make sure to scrub around the buckle and holes(if any) as dirt can easily accumulate in these areas.
- When the ring is clean, rinse under running water. Do not forget to place a bowl beneath your hands as you rinse; this way, if the ring slips, it falls into the bowl and not down the drain. • Use a fiber-free towel to pat dry the ring.
How To Properly Store Belt Rings
Whether you got a vintage or modern belt ring doesn’t matter here. You have to properly store them. To do this, keep rings in a jewelry box lined with fabric and divided into compartments. If you don’t have a jewelry box, your best bet would be to wrap the ring in a soft cloth before placing it in the drawer.
In addition to the maintenance practices mentioned above, you should take your ring for inspection by a jewelry expert at least once a year.
These rings are certainly not your everyday ring style. Belt rings are an elegant variation from the more familiar ring types. Check out the collection we have in stock at Goldia now!