This ring, I believe is still preserved in Rome. The inscription says Alaricus Gothorum Rex – Alaric, king of the Goths. It is quite remarkable that the conqueror of Rome felt compelled to use Latin for such an important symbol of his royal authority.
Although not all friendship rings require engraving, this is certainly a type of jewelry that benefits from a clear statement that expresses the wearer’s sentiments or serves to remind about the occasion of its purchase. There are some design elements that emphasize the idea of friendship: the heart, the clasping hands of a claddagh ring, matching gems or birthstones etc. Apart from that, friendship rings very often bear engraved inscriptions and I am happy to make some suggestions that may help you design your own custom rings or search for rings with particular inscriptions available through retailers. As usual, I try to provide Latin versions of these friendship quotes, since I believe that Latin (along with occasional French) is a language well-suited for jewelry engraving.
- FRIENDSHIP (AMICITIA ) – Perhaps the most common inscription on friendship rings.
- FRIEND (AMICUS masc., AMICA fem.)
- FRIENDS (AMICI masc., AMICAE fem.)
- BEST FRIEND (AMICUS OPTIMUS masc., AMICA OPTIMA fem.)
- BEST FRIENDS FOREVER (AMICI OPTIMI IN AETERNUM masc., AMICAE OPTIMAE IN AETERNUM fem.)
- A FRIEND IS A SECOND SELF (ALTER IPSE AMICUS)
- HE IS A TRUE FRIEND, WHO, UNDER DOUBTFUL CIRCUMSTANCES, AIDS IN DEED WHEN DEEDS ARE NECESSARY (IS EST AMICUS QUI IN RE DUBIA RE JUVAT, UBI RE EST OPUS) – A quote from Plautus
- I SPARE NO EXPENSE SO LONG AS I CAN SERVE MY FRIEND (NIHIL PRETIO PARCO, AMICO DUM OPITULOR)
- THERE IS NOTHING WHICH, IN MY SENSES, I SHOULD PREFER TO A DEAR FRIEND (NIL EGO CONTULERIM JOCUNDO SANUS AMICO) – A quote from Horace.
- CONSULT YOUR FRIEND ON EVERYTHING, BUT FIRST OF ALL ABOUT YOURSELF (OMNIA CUM AMICO DELIBERA, SED DE TE IPSO PRIUS) – A quote from Seneca.
- TO HAVE THE SAME TASTES AND THE SAME DISLIKES – THIS IN FACT IS THE BASIS OF LASTING FRIENDSHIP (IDEM VELLE ET IDEM NOLLE EA DEMUM FIRMA AMICITIA EST) – A quote from Sallust.
- A LITTLE PLEDGE OF NO LITTLE FRIENDSHIP (PARVUM NON PARVAE AMICITIAE PIGNUS) – This motto seems perfect for a gift to a friend or a friendship ring!
It must be added that the quotes from Ancient authors always sound better in their original language rather than in translation. Also, some people simply choose to engrave their names on friendship rings. Good luck with your engraved rings and your friendships!
Just found out this. The wife of Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski wore an engraved wedding ring. The inscription contained her husband’s name. The ring helped identify the body of the First Lady after the horrific plain crash. I was unable to find out whether the inscription was made on the outside or on the inside of the ring.
These rings can only be purchased by Harvard alums and their immediate family. As if that was not exclusive enough, they only made 20 of these rings. The two available designs feature the motto of Harvard University, the Latin word for “truth” (Veritas). Each ring can be personalized and a special certificate is issued. The rings are priced accordingly, but nothing too extraordinary, considering the “double exclusivity” that has been already described. It must be added, however, that when I decided to follow the “easy order” link (because I would actually qualify to buy one of these rings) it lead me to a PayPal shopping cart. Not what you would expect. But I still don’t think that there is anything fishy. Harvard would not allow anything like that! The moral of this story is, if you are looking for exclusive rings try to find a combination of several factors that make the product unique. Even the seller may not be aware of these factors. You see, exclusivity is in the eyes of the beholder.
An interesting article in The San Diego Reader goes into great detail describing the process of jewelry engraving by hand. This art is not going through its best times in the age of industrial laser engravers. Still, even the traditionally-minded hero of the article admits that he will use a laser to work on the inside of the ring. It sounds like the journalist who wrote the piece is planning to give her mother and her mother-in-law a pendant with their names engraved on it. And, get this, the lady’s names will be interwoven with the author’s own! That may be too much.
I would also like to point out my list of Latin dedications that can be engraved on gifts for friends and family: