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Although you may think that the only people who may wear masonic jewelry are Freemasons themselves, the truth is, anyone can purchase it. Masonic jewelry is not created by Lodges; they do not have a jeweler on staff turning out exclusive pieces. Any Mason that adorns himself in Masonic jewelry has had to purchase it from an independent jeweler, although Lodges do sometimes design and order their own special lapel pins for members.
If you are just an everyday guy with no affiliation to the Freemasons, you can still purchase masonic jewelry. Many people are fascinated by Freemasonry, and rightfully so. There are dozens of elaborate stories and tales about what the Freemasons did during their inception, who belonged to the fraternity, and what their mission was. Many laypeople study Freemasonry and sometimes wearing symbols of Freemasonry is one way that they demonstrate their fascination with the fraternity, or that they share their values.
In the beginning, the fraternity of Freemasons was founded during a time of intense religious strife, when Catholics and Protestants were killing each other in the streets. The goal of the Masons was to find common ground amongst the people outside of religion and politics. To that end, it was ruled that religion and politics were not up for debate at Masonic meetings. The Masons focused their energy in the pursuit of knowledge; knowledge of their crafts, developing new techniques, and exploring science and even philosophical values. Although it was not uncommon for current affairs to be discussed at meetings, which could easily have a political or religious basis, the rights and wrongs of said topics were strictly left at the door.
Why? Freemasons were comprised of men of different religious backgrounds, socio-economic status and political affiliations. A Lodge was designed to be neutral territory. Although members may be diametrically opposed in their belief systems outside the Lodge, in the Lodge they were equals. Leaving their baggage at the door made them more or less better equipped to fulfill their duties as a Mason. Interestingly, at this time, Freemasons did not publicly identify themselves because they were condemned by the Catholic Church – and still are today.
Types of Masonic jewelry
Rings: Rings are a very popular way to display ones affiliation with the Masons, or their support for them. Rings can be as flashy or as understated as one would like. A lot of people prefer wearing masonic ring to other types of jewelry because they quickly become second-nature; part of you that you never forget.
Pins: Pins are a traditional and professional way to adorn yourself with Masonic symbolism. Pins are great and can be worn on anything from a suit, to coveralls. Since rings aren’t safe to wear in all work environments (especially in the trades), pins are a great alternative and often more budget friendly.
Watches: Although you would not necessarily see a watch carved to reflect the masonic symbols, it would be a great piece to have engraved with the symbols, or to have a micro symbol used on the watch-face to replace the number 12.
Other: Masonic symbols could also be stamped into leather, such as you would find on a satchel, wrist band, or even keychain. Although in the beginning women were not permitted to be Freemasons, today there are female Masonic Lodges, and as such, you could potential see Masonic symbols appear in more feminine jewelry pieces, such as earrings, charm bracelets (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charm_bracelet) and necklaces.
There is something simply captivating about masonic legends, so it’s no surprise that many men are attracted to the idea of Masons. Since Freemasons were tradesmen and craftspeople of their time, wearing a piece of Masonic jewelry is perhaps the best way to pay homage to the order. The craftsmanship that goes into modern Masonic jewelry is as refined and detailed as it would have been centuries ago.
In many ways, supporting Freemasonry, even if you aren’t a Mason, is a show of patriotism for many people today. Some of America’s most prominent historical figures were actually Freemasons. 13 of 39 signatures found on the Constitution belong to Masons, and both George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were known Masons. At the heart of it, Freemasonry represents a brotherhood of equality, a way of thinking that became part of things like the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, in part due to some Masonic influence, but largely because they were infectious ideas in general at the time.
Bearing this in mind, wearing masonic jewelry today is very much a representation of those ideals: brotherhood and equality. Ideas that are very popular amongst modern men today.