Sunday, July 18, 2010

How to Make and Solve a Puzzle Ring

By on Sunday, July 18, 2010 13 Comments

Puzzle rings are made up of several interconnected rings, rather like endless knots. The ring can be disassembled but it is tricky to put it together again.The most common are the 4 or 6 band ones. I dread to think how hard the solutions would be for even more bands.


No one really knows who invented puzzle rings.The rings are sometimes called Turkish wedding rings or harem rings. One fanciful tale claims a Turkish nobleman gave one as a wedding band to his wife without telling her the solution to ensure her faithfulness since she could not remove it. This does not "ring" true because the Turkish people do not use interlocking rings as marriage rings.


They most likely developed from gimmal or gimmel rings which were popular in 16th-17th century Europe but date back earlier than that to medieval times. Gimmal comes from the Latin word, gemellus, meaning twin.  2-3 band rings were used first as betrothal rings with the engaged couple each wearing one part of the ring. A third ring could be held by a witness before the marriage ceremony. At the wedding, the rings were reconnected to form one ring. Elizabethans called them joint rings.

Here is a video by Darren Matthews which shows how a puzzle ring is solved. A pictorial how-to is available on eHow.com.



Hop over to Gary's tutorial over at Ganoksin which uses a wire jig if you want to try and make a 4 band version..  Note that you do need to know how to solder.

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13 comments:

  1. I have one such ring but its known as Tea Ring by its creator - http://www.wireblissmei.com/2009/05/new-pliers-cutters-tea-ring-turquoise.html
    I have been wondering how to make this ring and I found out today...but I don't do soldering :)
    Thank you for sharing this Pearl.

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  2. I really like your tea ring which is a type of puzzle ring. Alas, you do have to solder to make your own.

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  3. Oh wow, I love puzzles and this just feeds into that, great post, thank you so much, as always for fun and informative stuff! Hope all is well! :)

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  4. Thanks Lisa and Mei for dropping by! I always appreciate the comments especially from other busy bloggers.

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  5. The link to the tutorial is broken. :( I can't seem to find another one with a super quick Google search.

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  6. Gimmal rings sound cool-- but what is the difference between them and puzzle rings? It sounds very similar.

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  7. Gimmel rings are just 2-3 rings linked together. They may interlock a bit. But puzzle rings are much more elaborate which are trickier to assemble.

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  8. Thanks Shaylynn for letting me know about the dead link. I have replaced it with another and updated the post. It is not a pictorial one so you have to read it carefully. Good luck!

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  9. Pretty ring,but oh my word, I doubt that I would ever be able to put one back together once it came apart. Has anyone ever super glued one together ?

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  10. LOL! That would defeat the purpose of a puzzle ring if you glued it together!

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  11. I absolutely love my puzzle ring in which I got whilst in Florence, but it has now come apart and we have not been able to put it together for 3 months now. Is there anywhere that I am able to send it to for help as I live in Australia and noone is able to help me here. Please help!!

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  12. Hi Tamar,

    I'm afraid I'm no expect in solving celtic puzzle rings although I wrote about them once. However there are a couple of videos on Youtube which may help you. There are also others depending on how many bands your ring has.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3DpK949fXk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cnasUhMt3I

    Hope they will help! Good luck!

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  13. Thank you very much Pearl! I have had a couple of tries with the youtube videos, but will continue until I can eventually solve it.
    Many thanks!

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