Several years ago, while watching The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, I became seduced by the notion of a magical ring that inspired slavish devotion in its wearer. I too wanted a ring I could cradle and rock, call “my precious” and croon nonsensically to in a cave somewhere. The ring seemed like a lot of stress and bother to own (poor Frodo looked clinically depressed by the end of the series), but I couldn’t help being drawn in by its elegant simplicity and rich history.
I grew up reading the Tolken novels and seeing The One Ring brought to life so perfectly in the movies prompted me to start investigating. What jeweler had crafted such an elegant piece? I had to find out – but they weren’t making it easy.
It took a LOT of sleuthing to find out about The One Rings origins – I had to dig deep. My journey necessitated wading through tones of uninspiring knock offs. It was a frustrating task and I gave up several times. If I couldn’t find The One Ring then I was not settling for The One Knock Off to get me by and I’d keep my money in my pocket, thank you very much. Authenticity was the name of the game for this girl.
Turns out that journeying to middle earth to find it wasn’t necessary in the end; my quest lead me to a little know jeweler in New Zealand named Jens Hansen.
Jens Hansen was the creator of The One Ring seen in the movies. I discovered that he does not hold the license to sell Lord of the Rings merchandise though, so the recreations he’s selling are not “official”. To me this is crap. Would you rather own an inaccurate replica that wasn’t in the trilogy and looks nothing like the ring from the movie, but comes with an official seal of approval, or a faithful recreation of the original ring from the film, designed by Jens Hansen himself. To me it was no contest.
Manufacturers who are licensed to reproduce copies of The One Ring aren’t making rings the same as Jens Hansen. Their reproductions “vary significantly between manufacturer in weight, dimensions and design and do not have the same look, feel and weight of the Jens Hansen Ring actually used in the movies.” I can attest to this. I’ve seen some of these recreations in person and they aren’t even in the same ball park.
Warning: Dork alert
If you read the Tolken novel you will see that the real ring did not have any Elvish inscriptions cut into it:
Gandalf held it up. It looked to be made of pure and solid gold.
“Can you see any markings on it?” he asked.
“No,” said Frodo. There are none. It is quite plain, and it never shows a scratch or sign of wear.
Elvish writing showed up on the ring only in special circumstances, so the studio asked Jens Hanson to create a plain band – not one with writing on it. They used computer generated special effects to show the Elvish writing on the ring when it came time. Because of this, Jens Hanson does not sell rings with writing on them. That would not be a true recreation of what was in the film.
Here, finally, (see above) is a gold ring by Jens Hansen that is exactly like what was seen in the film. I lusted over this ring for weeks, but it cost a small fortune (18ct gold version = $3590.00 NZD) and no way could I justify the expense. Instead I opted for a more affordable sterling silver version ($195.00 NZD, which still wasn’t cheap). I contented myself with this downgrade by reminding myself that silver looks ten times better on me anyway.
What is awesome about this ring is how it feels in person. Sure, it looks like a simple silver band, but it has real heft and substance once you’re holding it in your palm. It’s incredibly substantial for something so streamlined and elegant. None of the knock offs I saw in person felt anything like this. This is no plain ring with a buffed edge: the band is slightly raised in the middle, sloping down imperceptibly on either side, tapering off to a smooth contour. It’s impossible to do it justice in a photo. It’s perfectly balanced, works equally well for both men and women and is so comfortable, I forget it’s on. I also get a kick out of wearing a Tolken memento on my finger – it takes me back to my childhood. <sniff>
Okay, so that’s the end. I don’t mean to be rude, but…..
Grawwwww! I’m never sharing my rings story again! This was a one time thing; I can’t believe I even wrote this and hit publish. If you know me, don’t presume I’m going to let you see my ring in real life, because I won’t. It’s MINE and I require several feet of empty space around me, free from curious humans, at all times.
….mine. (Just kidding.)
Edit: M.I.N.E. (Seriously – I was kidding about the kidding part.)