Like many Masonic pieces, there is plenty of hidden symbolism within this Edwardian era, 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Masonic ring.
A 1/4 carat old mine cut diamond of exceptional quality is set at the center of the solid 14 karat gold ring.
The double-headed eagle emblem represents the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, more commonly referred to as simply the "Scottish Rite".
The Scottish Rite is a Masonic organization that allows Master Masons to continue their education past the first 3 degrees. The Scottish Rite consists of the 4° to 32°, as well as the honorary 33°, which is awarded for exceptional service.
On the shoulder shank of the ring, a Rose Croix is enameled in red, white and green.
The Rose Croix, also known as the Rose Cross, or Rosy Cross, is said to be a cross with a red, white or gold rose at its center.
While it may represent Christian beliefs, the symbol is believed to have predated Christianity. The cross symbolizes the human body while the rose represents the individual's unfolding consciousness.
On the opposite shoulder shank, an Equilateral Triangle is above the number 32, both in black enamel.
The Equilateral Triangle is symbolic of Deity and Perfection. It is is comprised of three 60° angles, and three sides of equal length. The Equilateral Triangle is considered to be the most perfect of figures, representing The Great First Cause, the Creator and Container of all things.
The number 32 represents the 32nd Degree of Freemasonry, known as "Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret". The 32° is the highest level of achievement a Mason can reach, not including the honorary 33°.
The thirty-third, and final degree of Freemasonry, is an honorary degree bestowed upon 32° Masons who have showed exceptional leadership in their community. It cannot be applied for, and is given only to those who exemplify the Brotherhood of man under the Fatherhood of God.
He must be no younger than 33 years of age, and has to have been selected by the Deputy of his state. At an Annual Meeting of the Supreme Council, he may be elected a Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Thirty-Third and Last Degree, Honorary Member of the Supreme Council.
Inside the ring has a hidden, hand-engraved message.
The engraving reads, "Charles J. Papenbrock Whom virtue unites Death cannot separate - March 25 1913".
Lastly, a "14K" purity hallmark is stamped inside the ring. Many Masonic rings have been produced in 10 karat gold over the years, but this Edwardian era piece is solid 14 karat, set with a 1/4 carat old mine cut diamond.
To learn more about Masonic symbolism, as well as more about each of the 32 (well, 33) degrees of Freemasonry, CLICK HERE.