So. it's Latin. It's derived from Old French. In today's French it's
Jumelle (feminine version). And in English. ah yes. well ... we're in
a country where--I once read--the language has more words in it than
any other language in the modern world. To wit: English. And in
English it's "Twin".
And from the Latin we come to the name of an interesting ring with an
interesting history. The Gimmel Ring. Extrapolate a tad and you can
see the derivation. It dates back to the 16th or 17th century. It was
also known as a Puzzle Ring. A 17th century poet by the name of John
Dryden made reference to it in a piece entitle Don Sebastian
which--at the time--received high literary praises. Here's what he
said as regards to the Gimmel Ring: "A curious artist wrought 'em, /
With joynts so close as to not to be perceiv'd; / Yet are they both
each other's counterpart." Yeah. Well. They spoke a little funny in
them thar days. Today's equivalent would be something like: "A
strange little jeweler made it so's you couldn't see the rivets and
each part looked like a clone of the other." A rose by any other name
and all that.
In England they called it a Joint Ring. Even the old bard Shakespeare
mentioned it in Othello. Here's how it worked. It was a betrothal
ring. And since the one I'm going to show you is in three parts.
we'll cover that scenario.
She and He fall in love. It happens. And they commit. No jokes on
this one folks. Too easy. And so. as tradition had it from the time
we emerged from the caves and stopped slaying woolly mammoths with
clubs. he bought her a ring. A three part ring. And he went around to
his friends and said: Hey. You want to be my witness? Sure Benjamin.
We'd love to. Believe it or not. by the purist coincidence. this
guy's name was Benjamin too. Who woulda thunk it? So Benjy takes the
ring. twists it open. and hands one part to his witness. one part to
his lady fair. and one part he keeps for himself.
And then there were some vows. Listen. Do you swear you're going to
marry me. Hell yes. You got my ring? Of course. Here's yours. I'll
wear one. And my friend Irving here will wear the other one till we
tie the knot. He's our witness. And when we marry you get to wear all
And in utter glee she would gambol through the meadow yelping little
throaty sounds of ecstasy while Benjy tried to figure out how to pay
for the damned thing. He wasn't making that much as a wick-twister in
the candle factory and he worried about his future because rumor was
rife with stories about the imminent emergence in the next hundred
years or so of some sort of a contraption that would be called a
light bulb which would replace the candle. His earnings were on the
verge of teetering to the edge of extinction. Life hasn't really
changed all that much since then. Today the steering wheel is on it's
way out and before you know it we won't know what we'll do with our
hands while we're driving. All suggestions here welcome. Life is
complex. The dilemmas are endless.
As to the Gimmel Ring I have to show you. it is rather magnificent
looking. The hand mechanism twists to unlock. It has what appears to
be an amethyst in the center. And I think the inscription says
something to the effect of "Whom God has joined together, Let no man
put asunder." Just out of curiosity. without looking it up. how many
of you know what "asunder" means? Hmmm? Go ahead. Use it in a
So now. enough... before you rend this document asunder. Who wants to
see a picture of that ring? How can you resist? You know where. Go.
Run. No slaying woolly mammoths en route. Look. Enjoy. Home page.
. Scroll down. Left side. Tidbits. Click.
And there ya have it. That's it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.