If you own a masonic ring, chances are you or someone in your family is a Freemason. The masonic ring, along with the signet it bears, is symbolic of a vow of fellowship shared by every member of the Freemason fraternity. Wearing the ring serves as a badge of authentication of your membership and a daily reminder of your obligation.
The Freemason date back to June 24th 1717, when the Grand Lodge of England was established. Many claim that the masons have a history that can be traced as far back as ancient Egyptian. The tools represented on the masonic ring are the square, level and plumb. These are the tenets of the craft of masonry and displayed on the ring to remind members of the value of the tradition. The symbolism of stonemason tools, on top of the allegorical backdrop of King Solomon's Temple, implies a sense of morality within the ancient craft of masonry. In past centuries, signet rings similar to the masonic ring were used to certify documents by sealing envelopes with a patch of hot wax and dipping the face of the ring in the wax to leave the mark of the signet.
The masonic ring is meant to authenticate the wearer's membership as a Freemason and certify that he is a valid member of the fraternity. The ring's signet identifies the level of membership a mason may have within his lodge.
The masonic ring worn by an entry level Freemason has an emblem similar to a protractor or a compass erect at a 30-degree angle and within it rests the letter G, to symbolise God or the Great Architect of the Universe. There is no official way to wear a masonic ring, but many wear it with the two legs of the compass pointing outward to denote its seal of authenticity. Married men wear it on the third finger of the opposite hand of their wedding ring.
Freemasons are loyal to their own and the obligation of brotherhood and universal fellowship extends beyond geographical and cultural borders. In addition to making you more approachable to fellow Freemasons in your local lodge, wearing your masonic ring can alert masons abroad of your vow of fellowship. This opens the door to their assistance to you in your travels and endeavours in ways not expected of a stranger.
Many kin of members who have passed away honour their memory by wearing their ring. But Freemasons take the sanctity of their brotherhood very seriously and frown upon those who wear the ring to pose as members when they are not. It is also not proper to wear more than one masonic ring.