Gold puzzle ring

Photo: Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum CC By SA2.0
Object type: Ring
Period: Post Medieval
Primary material: Gold
Date found: 06/12/2021
Location: Wiltshire


A gold puzzle finger ring thought to date to AD 1700 – 1900 consisting of three interlinking gold hoops. There seem to be a few theories as to the origin of these rings

Turkish puzzle rings

These rings are sometimes called Turkish puzzle rings although there is little evidence that they originated there. The story goes that a Turkish king wanted to ensure the faithfulness of his wife. He commissioned the royal jeweler to design a ring that would fall apart, if the queen were to remove it (presumably to commit adultery).

Gimmal rings

The idea behind puzzle rings is very similar to that of gimmal rings. In the 16th and 17th centuries, such rings were fashionable in England. On becoming engaged engaged the couple would wear one hoop each and rejoin them to use as a wedding ring. With triple link rings, a third person could witness the couple’s vows and hold the third part of the ring until the marriage.