Three stone rings are highly symbolic jewellery items. Their origin is the trinity knot ring, a romantic Celtic symbol of affection and commitment. This article explores the heritage and secret meaning of three stone rings – and why they’re perfect for saying ‘I love you’ on St Patrick’s Day.
What is a three stone ring?
Three stone rings, or trilogy rings, are rings with three diamonds or gemstones. The stones can all be the same size, or the centre stone can be a little larger than the other two.
Also, a trilogy ring can be made with just one type of gemstone, such as three beautiful diamonds.
Or it can combine different precious stones, for example, a sapphire in the middle and two diamonds on either side.
The trinity knot: the origin of trilogy rings
Contemporary three stone rings are inspired by the Irish trinity knot symbol, called the triquetra. Originally, this was a pagan art motif that the Celts carved into rune stones.
It is also very similar to the “three triangles” symbol that Vikings used to represent the Norse god Odin. Much later, it became linked to the Irish shamrock.
Here you can see the variations and the evolution of the trinity symbol:
St Patrick and the Shamrock
Saint Patrick and the Shamrock are important symbols of Irish national identity.
St Patrick was known for using the shamrock, which is a three-leaved clover, to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to his disciples.
This is why the green clover, the trinity knot and trinity rings have historic and cultural importance in Ireland.
From trinity rings to diamond trilogy rings
Traditional Irish trinity rings were made of metal, and had three knots that were twisted from metal wire onto a ring band.
The modern three stone rings, which are set with three precious stones, have simply evolved from this design.
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A promise ring or an engagement ring?
The traditional Irish trinity knot ring made from metal is more like the modern promise ring.
In other words, it is often given by one partner to another to make a promise of commitment before the couple is ready to get engaged.
Today, many people also choose to give diamond and gemstone three stone rings as engagement rings but do not realise that their meaning derives from Celtic lore.
6 different meanings that three stone rings can have
The gems in your three stone ring can be chosen to symbolise the following sentiments:
- The past, present and future of yout journey through life together
- Love, honour and protection
- The affection, friendship and loyalty between you two
- The birthstones of the bride or the groom, or both
- Your official anniversary gift gem
- A sentiment, like sapphires symbolising truth or diamond representing lasting love
Famous three stone rings
Most recently, three stone rings have become even more fashionable because of Meghan Markle’s engagement ring given to her by Prince Harry.
Finally, some ideas for a St Patricks Day proposal
St Patrick’s Day is a wonderful date to get engaged because there is lovely Irish traditions you can draw from, and your engagement date will always be memorable.
Here are some ways to pop the question on March 17th:
- Proposing with food – Finding a ring in Barmbrack, which is an Irish bread filled with fruit, is a customary way to get engaged in Ireland. But you could give it a twist and use another type of food or drink to propose.
- Lucky pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – The Irish legend goes that the leprechaun’s gold treasure is hidden at the end of a rainbow. Plan a surprise treasure hunt for the the ring, leaving your loved one intriguing rainbow-coloured clues to solve. Then watch their face light up as they discover the “gold” at the end of the treasure hunt.
- The Irish pub proposal – Embrace the Irish heritage and recreate an Irish pub experience complete with a fancy pub lunch and a pint of Guinness for your sweetheart. Then get down on one knee, belt out a classic Irish love songs (or hit play on this Spotify playlist) and give her the ring.
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