Today, it is not necessary to be an actual mason to be a member as the principles of the brotherhood are self-improvement, social works and self-awareness. They were behind the creation of public schools in Europe and America.
The Freemasons have the longest history of any organization in the world. The first Grand Lodge was formed in 1717 in London, but there was loose organization and use of terms and symbols centuries before that. Stonemasons were the founding fathers.
To designate membership in a Masonic lodge, there are a variety of Masonic ring pieces that a member can wear. The traditional piece is the signet ring, but there are other options as well. For the man who already owns a Lodge ring, other gift options are cuff links, tie pins, pocket watches and even pendants. These can all bear the same the emblems as the rings.
In the late 19th century and early 20th century, they also took it upon themselves to make sure orphans, the elderly and widows were taken care of when the system provided no protection for them. There are a lot of conspiracy theories, movies and books surrounding the mystery of the Masons, but there is no real secret to this philanthropic and educated organization.
The Masonic Symbols
Symbols in freemasonry are important and they designate the degree of the member, the lodge and what the member wants to say about his membership. The most common symbols are the square and compass which represent the cornerstone of freemasonry.
In the center of these tools is the letter "G", which stands for geometry, a principle of freemasonry, and for God, the original builder. Some other tools of the trade found in Masonic ring are the trowel, the plumb level and columns. There are many other symbols to choose from when designing different pieces.
Only members should wear membership ring, but there are cases where antique Masonic ring is passed down as family heirlooms. As far as how to wear the rings, there are no rules on the proper way. Some men like to wear the emblems facing them but others like to wear them facing out for others to see. Married men typically wear their rings on the right hand ring finger. Some men choose to wear their ring on the pinkie finger. So, really it is all about personal preference and comfort on how to wear the pieces.
How to clean it
In gold or silver, Masonic ring can be very simple or quite ornate. The more intricate the design, the dirtier it can get. Gold pieces can be soaked in warm soapy water and scrubbed with a soft brush. If there are enameled or synthetic colored parts, don't soak the piece, but gently scrub with a soft soapy brush. Regularly polish with a soft cloth. For sterling silver pieces, only use cleaners designed for silver cleaning. These products come in wipes, cloths and creams.
There are millions of freemasons across the world and a gift of men's Masonic ring is a great way to recognize his contribution to society and to honor his pride and dedication to his brotherhood.
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