The Ashlar Company
For the good of the craft...
Fully Customizable Freemasons Rings Finishes Overview and Examples
Below you will find an array of examples of rings we have produced for other freemasons in a variety of finishes. We have organized them for you based their finish to give you a better understanding of how your finished custom masonic ring will look. As you read through them, there are a couple of basic things you should keep in mind. A) Any ring that has a surface coating, wether it be gold plating, rhodium plating or oxidation, WILL wear off over time in any area where it frequently comes into contact with anything that causes friction. Surface coatings are also more susceptible to showing dings and dents than rings that have nothing covering their natural color. While gold plating is a temping option and in some cases the only economical option for some brethren, do not be surprised when it at some point wears down in certain places. The inside of the shank for example is the prime example of where it will wear off first. The inner shank is where any ring gets the most amount of friction as you spin it around your finger whilst listening to the agonizing reading of the minutes at your regular stated meeting. B) All of our design your own masonic ring series have the contrast material option selected by default, that is the dark material that you see in the recessed areas of the ring and we highly recommend it wether your going with silver, gold or gold plating, it really makes the symbols pop and keeps the ring looking nice even as it wears over time (A sort of visual contrast illusion). C) There is no substitute for solid gold. If you want a yellow ring, and you want it to stay yellow for the rest of your life, go with gold. It is also a form of wearable wealth, something that in an emergency you can sell or trade if the situation is dire enough (This is the same reason Rolex's are so popular). D) Two-tone finishes are without question the most delicate and difficult to maintain. They are also often the most eye catching so keep that trade-off in mind when you choose. E) It's easier to upgrade than it is to downgrade. If you're not sure what you want, just get plain sterling silver with contrast material. That is going to the base platform for any of the other non solid gold finishes and you can always oxidize it, plate it, polish it or brush it. While it's not exactly hard to downgrade, you can always reduce a higher level of finish back down to it's base platform with a simple polishing cloth (and a lot of polishing) but it's best to give it some though and get what you want from the get go. F) Please try to remember that you are purchasing a high quality, extremely customized piece of fine jewelry and it takes time. You should expect to wait an average of 30-60 days before we ship out your ring. Every once in a while it is a little faster and every once in a while it is a little slower. There are no updates while we make your ring, you will get a confirmation email when you place the order and you will get a tracking number email when it ships. Feel free to call us any time though, we are always happy to speak to other brethren.
Fine jewelry has been around for thousands of years, it's not a piece of electronics and it doesn't just randomly break one day. Any true jeweler can refurbish, refinish, resize or restore a piece of fine jewelry.
Pros: Extremely durable against wear because there is no surface coating unless you choose gold plated sterling silver in which case the gold plating will wear off with time. However even with gold plating, because it is a mono-tone style, it is extremely easy to have re-plated. However, using a chemical or ultrasonic cleaner it can be brought back to it's like new finish very rapidly. Because this is the most basic style of metal, it is essentially a blank palette which you can in future decide to oxidize, plate or apply other finishes to. It is also very easy to plate with Rhodium if you find that you have an allergy to sterling silver, copper or any of the other metals that might be used in a sterling silver or white gold alloy.
Cons: This style will get dirty the fastest because it is the cleanest looking. Just like a white shirt will show dirt much faster than a dark shirt. A polishing cloth (not recommended for gold plated models) will not be able to clean the recessed areas effectively, thus requiring you to clean it chemically or with an ultra-sonic cleaner. Another disadvantage, although some may call it an advantage to the natural finish is there is nothing for the masonic symbols to contrast against, this making them much less obvious without careful scrutiny.
Note: The opposite of natural finish is what you see most of the rings we make finished with, that is a contrast material in the recessed areas. The contrast material is generally very low maintenance and by far the most popular option.
Pros: The brushed finish is non-reflective as opposed to high polish. This is achieve by literally brushing it very carefully in the same direction repeatedly to create microscopic groves in the surface of the metal. This is opposed to polishing it to create a mirror like finish (much more popular). The only real pro to this style comes down to personal preference as it creates a sharp looking ring without the "bling" of a reflective piece of metal. All rings that have an oxidized finish are brushed by default to maintain their finish longer. Using jewelry polishing paper, you can actually go back and forth between brushed and polished finish. We do not have a category here specifically showing polished rings because unless they are brushed or oxidized, then they are all polished to mirror finish.
Cons: Because of the microscopic grooves it creates, this ring is very hard to keep clean and those little groves will pickup tiny pieces of dirt or particles. If you combine a brushed finish with a natural finish then you still are limited to using chemical or ultra-sonic cleaning. You do also have the option of re-brushing it yourself to clean it however bear in mind that each time you do so, you are removing a little bit of metal. Brush finished also tend to show wear and tear more obviously because even a light impact against something can flatten out some of the microscopic groves. Overall, a brushed finish is harder to maintain and not good for every day wear unless you are getting it in monotone sterling silver, solid gold or oxidized sterling silver (which comes brushed by default).
Pros: First off, oxidized finish along with all of our two-tone styles are only available when the ring material is of sterling silver. This is because gold does not react to sulfur the same way and does not oxidize nearly as easily as silver does. To achieve this finish we start with a solid sterling silver ring and expose it to sulfer for a period of time. This results in the deep gray finish that some find very attractive. Unlike other surface finished, straight oxidation is something that you can easily do yourself or by a qualified jeweler to bring it back to it's oxidized state.
Cons: Similar to the natural finish, this type of monotone, non-contrasting exterior also makes it difficult to identify the masonic emblems, which depending on how you look at it, could be a good or bad thing. Any portion of the ring that rubs again any kind of material (including your other fingers) on a regular basis will wear away at the oxidation and expose the silver beneath it. However, because silver naturally oxidizes on it's own, it will in many cases only remain that way temporarily unless you wear it daily and are constantly rubbing it against things. You cannot polish an oxidized ring because polishing a silver ring is almost by definition the process of removing oxidation, also known as tarnish.
Pros: The silver finish is going to be without question the most durable and easiest to maintain masonic ring for daily wear. Almost everyone chooses the contrast material you see surrounding the symbols, however it can be combined with natural finish (see natural finish section).
Cons: When made in sterling silver, this ring will tarnish over time and require a polishing cloth to keep clean but aside from that there isn't really much you can say about it that is bad. If you choose this ring in white gold, it will remain cleaner and stand up to just about anything.
Gold or Gold Plated Finish
Pros: You can only get a yellow freemasons ring one of two ways. You can apply gold plating to sterling silver or you can get it in solid gold. If you want a yellow precious metal ring for daily wear, buy once, cry once and get it in solid gold. It will last you a life time. If you cannot afford it in solid gold and gold plating is your only option, then expect to have to have it re-plated with a regularity proportional to how much you wear it.
Cons: In solid gold, there are no cons to this finish except for it's price. When made in gold plated sterling silver, the gold plating will wear off with use.
Two Tone White / Yellow Finish
Pros: Of the various two tone finishes, this model is the most durable because it has the least amount of surface plating.
Cons: The gold plating on the symbols is done by hand using a plating pen and while it is more durable than the other two tone options, it will wear off over time just like any other plating. This style of ring is more costly to refurbish because of the steady hand required to plate only the symbols. This finish is only available using sterling silver as the base metal.
Two Tone Oxidized / Silver Finish
Pros: For those that don't wear gold, this finish really catches the eye.
Cons: Because it is two tone in nature, it is not as easy to re-oxidize the entire ring at once and can be more costly to refurbish. Because this ring is brushed by default, it also carries with it the cons listed in the oxidized category. This finish is only available using sterling silver as the base metal.
Two Tone Oxidized / Yellow Finish
Pros: This is probably our most popular finish, it uses two types of surface platings and it looks amazing.
Cons: Because this finish has two types of surface platings, it will wear down based on how often you wear it and your own individual lifestyle and daily habits. It is the most difficult to re-finish of all the ring finishes we offer. Just like all of our oxidized rings, this one too carries with it the cons of oxidation. This finish is only available using sterling silver as the base metal.
Sincerity & Plain Dealing
As brothers we do business on the square and most businesses would find it odd for us to suggest you choose the least expensive option we offer for daily wear (Straight Sterling Silver with Contrast Material) but as brothers we can do nothing less than be upfront and honest with you. It's also a little common sense, like anything else, the more flashy and the more complicated it is, the more there is to break and the more expensive it is to fix. It is for both those reasons that the brethren running this operation don't drive around in mercedes.
Remember, if you don't see the Ashlar "A", it's not authentic.
By Brothers, For Brothers & always For the good of the craft...
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