Turkish Puzzle Rings History (and What They Are)

Updated May 4, 2021
silver puzzle ring

Turkish puzzle rings are mysterious jewelry items. This type of ring can be both intriguing and quite frustrating should you slip it from your finger and watch it fall apart.

About Puzzle Rings

Puzzle rings are elaborate designs that can be made up of as little as three interconnected bands and as many as 12 or more. The designs can be an illusion of an infinity knot or other complex knot design. You can find Claddagh puzzle rings, as well as other designs such as dragon, serpent, and hearts. Some puzzle rings have diamonds and precious gems embedded into them. Another version serves as an engagement ring with a six-pronged mount holding the stone of your choice.

When you wear a puzzle ring, the pressure of your finger helps hold the ring together. When you take it off, the ring falls apart. Most rings come with instructions on how to put it back together.

History of Turkish Puzzle Rings

There are quite a few stories about the origin of the puzzle ring. The most widely accepted story tells about a Turkish king who was obsessed with his wife and so untrusting of her faithfulness that he commissioned the royal jeweler to create a trick ring that would tell him if his wife had removed it during his absence. This would be a sign to the distrustful king that his wife had cheated on him while he was away. The clever jeweler came up with what's commonly called the puzzle ring. If the queen were to remove it, the interlocking bands would fall apart. Without the instructions on how to put it back together, the unfaithful wife would be exposed.

Turkish Puzzle Ring

Modern Puzzle Ring Culture

Whether this legend is true or not, it's clear that the Turkish puzzle ring has become very popular, especially as the new hip wedding band choice.

For some couples not engaged or considering marriage, the rings are given as tokens of a committed monogamous relationship, one step away from becoming engaged. No matter the level of commitment, the ring is an apt symbol of the intricacies of a romantic love relationship. If the pieces all fit and support each other, then the relationship, like the ring, is solid and strong enough to stay together.

Other people simply like the interwoven designs and collect various styles as fashion jewelry. Many Renaissance re-enactors choose puzzle rings as part of their costume jewelry.

How to Assemble and Disassemble a Puzzle Ring

The most important thing to remember, whether a puzzle ring is a simple three band design or a complex design with six bands or more, is to never force or bend any of the bands. If they are bent out of shape, the ring will never go together right.

The first step in solving a puzzle ring is to find the two outer bands. These will both be curved on one side only, and when you bring them together, they'll form a diamond shape in the middle. Once you find those outer bands, it's time to solve the rest of the puzzle.

Three band rings are the simplest to solve, with just a bit of twisting and fiddling once you identify the outer bands.

Puzzle rings with four or more bands are going to take a bit more time and focus to solve. The best thing to do is take it a step at a time and don't get frustrated; it will look like a mess, but then all of a sudden, it'll just come together.

Disassembled Puzzle Ring

How to Style a Puzzle Ring

A puzzle ring can be worn with literally anything. Some puzzle rings double as engagement or wedding rings, so they're perfect for everyday wear.

More intricate designs might work better worn as an accent piece, but for the most part, these fun (sometimes frustrating) rings will work with any outfit and any occasion.

To store it without having to solve it again, consider a post-style ring holder; this will allow you to carefully slip the ring off, slide it onto the post, and then put it back on at a later date without having to solve the puzzle first. Of course, if you like puzzles, you can omit this step all together. The process of solving it will undoubtedly become faster the more often you do it.

Buying Puzzle Rings

When you begin to research and shop for Turkish puzzle rings, be prepared to find a wide range of quality. Some rings are made out of precious metals, while others are made from brass, copper, and tin. You can also find puzzle rings made out of two contrasting metals such as white gold and yellow gold, or yellow gold and sterling silver. Most people opt for sterling silver, gold, or even platinum.

You can find puzzle rings at many jewelry vendors at Renaissance festivals, as well as online shops. You'll also see rings of various quality at Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, eBay, and Overstock. For the best selection, you may want to shop online.

Puzzle Perfection

Regardless of your reason for choosing this elaborate piece of jewelry, a puzzle ring is a unique choice that is sure to delight you for years to come. Just remember not to let it get bent out of shape, and have patience (and fun!) when you're solving your puzzle ring.

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Turkish Puzzle Rings History (and What They Are)