A ring, an ornament of circular form worn on the finger and often decorated with precious stones or metal. The ring has been an essential element of jewelry for over six thousand years. It has served many purposes, both practical and symbolic, such as pledges of love and commitment, seals of office, and as talismans for good fortune or protection. Rings are also used as symbols of wealth and power, such as engagement rings and wedding bands or the signet ring that was once worn by all British royalty. Whether they are made of gold, silver, or some other metal or precious stone, rings are worn throughout the world as signs of affection, friendship, love, and devotion.
Historically, rings were worn as symbols of love and faith. In modern times, however, they serve a more secular purpose: as fashion accessories or status symbols. The use of rings in popular culture has varied widely over the ages, from simple gold bands to elaborate and expensive designs. Some of the most famous rings are designed with gemstones, such as diamonds and sapphires. Other rings have been fashioned out of pearls and even crystal. Some are very elaborate, with diamonds and gemstones being set in a wide band of gold. Others are simpler, with just a few small gemstones or just a single large diamond in a gold band.
In mathematics, a ring is a structure that satisfies a number of conditions including commutative algebra and being finite. A ring is also an algebraic integer that has the property that the order of multiplication does not change its value, a property called “modularity”.
Hilbert’s name for this mathematical structure was actually “Zahlring” (“number ring”), and it was introduced in his Zahlbericht as a generalization of powers of algebraic integers to have cyclical (ring-shaped) behavior. Later, the term was adopted by other mathematicians and has been in use ever since.
A ring is also a symbol of loyalty, especially in the military. For example, soldiers who are taken prisoner by the enemy wear a distinctive ring with their unit’s insignia on it as an emblem of their service to their country. The same is true for some civil servants and police officers.
In storytelling, rings can be seen in stories of all kinds, from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to Othello and Macbeth, to modern movies such as Star Wars 5. They are often symmetrical with a loaded middle point that contains a key insight that will help the hero solve his problem. Ring structures can be large, spanning entire films or sagas, or they can be as small as the plot of a single episode in a television show. Interestingly, a few of the oldest stories known to man have Ring structures, such as Beowulf. This is no surprise, given the ancient origins of these works. Even the life of Buddha has a Ring structure, which is quite remarkable.