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Definition of a Trinity Spinner Ring

Updated July 19, 2017

Spinner rings are a jewellery piece worn by both men and women. The movable band is often inscribed with designs or symbols, such as the Trinity knot. Both the ring and the Trinity design have ancient origins.

Ring Definition

A spinner ring is a two-part band. The outer band is fitted into a lipped ridge on the inner band but is loose enough that the wearer can flick it to spin within the ridge. The outer or spinning band may be smooth, cut or engraved with designs such as the Trinity symbol.

Trinity Knot Meaning

"Trinity" refers to a Celtic knot also called a triquetra (literally "three corners"). It consists of a single line that wraps and crosses itself to form three interlocking pointed loops. Though it may not have been its original intention, Christians have viewed the triquetra as a Trinity symbol--three Gods in one--since the Celtic Revival of the 1860s, according to Celtic jewellery artist Stephen Walker. The unbroken line represents eternity, with the interweaving expressing unity.

Ancient Origins

Spinner ring design is based on the Tibetan prayer wheel, a metal cylinder that spins on an axle. The earliest prayer wheels may date to the fourth century, according to the University of North Carolina's Ackland Art Museum. The triquetra in various forms turns up on pagan stones and in Celtic lore; it appears in the Book of Kells around A.D. 800.

Other Names

Spinner rings are sold under a variety of names. They're also known as spinning, motion, turn, prayer, anxiety, worry and fidget rings. According to organisations like the Trichotillomania Learning Center and the Calming Center, the movable rings can be used to distract and calm those with anxiety and other repetitive motion disorders.

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About the Author

Nancy Susanna Breen has been a writer since 1976. Her articles have appeared in "Writer's Digest," "Writer's Market" and online. Breen is the former editor of "Poet's Market," an annual publishing directory, and edited craft and sewing books for the Krause and North Light Books imprints. Breen earned her Associate of Arts in communications from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 1990.