Vintage Puzzle Rings
Known by many names and created in many regions, puzzle rings are intriguing pieces of jewelry. The rings consist of two or more interlocking bands that fit snugly together to form one ring. Typically, the bands can be separated into completely independent rings. Sometimes the bands remain connected even once the puzzle is solved. Modern puzzle rings are available in multiple colors, and with gemstone and diamond settings.
If you're looking for a wedding ring that's just as intriguing as a puzzle ring, shop our antique style wedding ring collection.
History of Puzzle Rings
Sometimes called Turkish Puzzle Rings, these unusual rings have mysterious origins. They're said to have come from the East, but no one is certain exactly when or from where. Puzzle rings are predated by gimmel rings which date back to the 1200s.
Gimmel rings consisted of two interlocking rings, sometimes used similarly to a modern bridal set where one is worn during the engagement, and the other added during the wedding ceremony. They were most popular in Europe during the Renaissance.
Gimmel rings seem to have inspired the interlocking puzzle bands. For this reason, the terms gimmel and puzzle are sometimes used interchangeably when referring to these jewelry pieces.
One story about the possible origin of puzzle rings involves a Turkish nobleman who was concerned about his wife's fidelity. The tale claims a puzzle ring was designed so it would unravel if the nobleman's bride ever removed it. However, no one has ever been able to confirm this story, so it remains a legend.
How Puzzle Rings are Made
Each band of a puzzle ring has bends in it. They're placed in such a way that the rings lock together, something like a pretzel. When the rings are unlocked correctly, they should slip apart quite easily. The challenge is putting them back together!
Vintage puzzle rings can include clasping hands, little animals, braids, and even letters in the designs.
Famous Puzzle Rings
In 1924, Louis Cartier designed the Trinity de Cartier ring, a famous example of a vintage puzzle ring. It features three interlocking bands, in pink, yellow, and white gold. The pink stands for love, yellow for fidelity, and white for friendship. Cartier still produces this ring today.
Jose Grant is probably the best-known name in modern puzzle rings. They've been making puzzle rings since the 1940s. In addition to the plain band design, Jose Grant also makes claddagh puzzle rings--two hands clasping a heart which cannot be seen until the bands are separated.
Designer Meira T created a bold puzzle ring with diamonds and geometric shapes. The ring completely separates so each piece can be worn together or alone.
Shop our collection of antique style wedding rings to find a piece that's sure to inspire conversation.