What are Friendship Rings

The meaning of friendship is defined as “the emotions or conduct of friends; the state of being friends”. While ring is defined as “a small circular band , typically of precious metal and often set with one or more gemstones” or “a ring-shaped or circular object”. From the above meanings we can deduce that a friendship ring is nothing but a ring shaped object that is given by one friend to the other as a mark of mutual friendship. The friends may be male-male, male-female or female –female.

How did the concept of friendship ring come around? To understand this we have to go back to the 16th century and understand promise ring. Back then when it was difficult for man to get married due to his financial standing or the lack of it, he would give a promise ring to the lover as a sign of assurance that he will marry her when he is capable and has the finances. In case there was no promise of marriage but a tacit approval among the two, it was referred to as a friendship ring. The other predecessor of the friendship ring is the claddagh ring. The name comes from the Irish village of Claddagh where the system of giving this ring as a mark of friendship or love leading to marriage was started. The ring has a typical feature which is, two hands holding a heart in between them. The claddagh rings can be friendship rings or wedding rings.

In the present context, these rings have become popular in the past few decades where friends buy similar rings in at least pairs or more numbers and give it to the other friend or friends showing a strong friendship and support for each other. These are mostly not worn on the ring finger to show a clear distinction between wedding ring and friendship ring though the ring and hand to be worn on can be mutually decided among friends. Generally worn by friends who consider the friend to be extremely close , sometimes like a brother/sister. It may be just a band without anything written on it, or it may have friend or anything written on it as decided by the friends. These can be offered to your friend showing your deep friendship to him/her and he/her has to accept it to be on the same page. In case your friend accepts the ring, it means that he/she has the same bond of friendship as you have for him/her. So you looking to find out if he feels the way about you as you do for him, take a pair of friendship ring.

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