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Go Way Back

Go Way Back: First-Knuckle Ring

Go Way Back BY bea koch 07/11/2013

First-knuckle rings seem to be popping up on digits everywhere (and, hey, we’re big fans ourselves). It feels like such a new thing, right? But, oh, turns out these suckers have quite the history. Read on, read on… 

 

 

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The Origin: The first incarnations date back as far as the 5th and 6th centuries. Whoa. This baller Roman example, set with emerald and rock crystal, might have been worn by a Roman noble lady with very tiny fingers.

 

 

 

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The Evolution: A thousand-ish years later, Renaissance ladies of leisure rocked the rings hard—probably because they signified that they didn’t work with their hands (‘cause let’s be honest: These accessories don’t mesh with laundry and harvesting). This 16th century English noblewoman, possibly Helena Snakenborg, shows how it’s done, wearing a first knuckle ring along with her other kick-ass jewels and a fresh carnation tucked behind her ear.

 

 

 

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And, though most trends are cyclical, first-knuckle rings enjoyed a long period (like, hundreds of years) of dormancy before roaring back on the jewelry scene. A chunkier version of the look had a nice ride in the nineties with the help of one Phoebe Buffay.

 

 

 

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The Right Now: The current version? It surfaced around 2008 on some pretty famous hands (Rihanna! Heidi! Beyoncé!). Five years later, we’re kinda wanting one for every finger. Too much?

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