This Gimmel ring is a puzzle ring that has three separate but interlocked bands. The center band has a heart, and the top and bottom bands have hands. When put together, the two hands clasp the heart.
Gimmel Ring Meaning
The Gimmel Ring (sometimes also spelled Gimmal Ring) is a betrothal ring. It is often associated with Scotland but was common in many other places around Europe, also. The word “gimmel” comes from the Latin word “gemellus”, which means “twin”. This ring has no relation to the third letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
The Gimmel ring is a type of fede ring. “Fede” is Italian for “faith”. The most common type of fede rings only have two hands clasped and they are not necessarily puzzle rings.
The Gimmel ring has been around at least since the Middle Ages in different forms. Different versions of it began to proliferate during the Renaissance. Very early versions had two bands that were connected and were not really puzzle rings and could not really be separated. When separate interlocking bands became popular, sometimes couples would each wear one of the bands when they got engaged. The two bands would be joined together to make a single ring at the wedding. The wife would wear the single ring after the wedding. In cases where the ring contained three bands, the third band was given to a witness or mutual friend.
In this version (as in most versions) each hand is a right hand. Obviously this means the hands represent different people. The clasped hands symbolize the friendship and faith between two people. The hands clasp to protect the heart which symbolizes their love.
Some versions of the ring also have engravings, symbols or gems that can only be seen once the different bands are separated. Occasionally the different bands will be joined by a pivot and will spread out like a fan. This is an alternative to the puzzle style.