Masonic jewelry can be tricky to decipher if you are not familiar with the different symbols. This article is going to give you a quick primer in the most popular symbols used in Masonic jewelry. These symbols all have their origins in the fraternal orders history of stone masonry. There are also quasi-mystical and biblical connotations to most of the symbols.
Here are the most important symbols.
Square and Compass
These are the two most common symbols used in Masonic jewelry. They are always combined. The obvious connection to Masonic history is that stonemasons would have needed to use a square and compass to make sure their work was level and straight. The symbolic nature of the compass and square pertains to morality. Masons use the symbol as a reminder that one is to remain "true" to the correct path and not stray from their moral teachings.
The Letter G
The letter G is almost always seen in conjunction with the square and compass. Oftentimes the letter G is placed inside of the square and compass. The G stands for both the "Great Architect" as well as geometry. The "Great Architect" refers to God. In Masonic literature the phrase "By letters four and science five, this 'G' aright doth stand" explains the significance. The four letters are believed to refer to YHWH, or Yahweh, and geometry is the fifth science.
This symbol will always be on the face of the ring. It is meant to remind the wearer that every action and thought is observed by the "great architect", or God.
Sheaf Of Corn
This is normally placed on the sides of the Masonic ring. The corn was used as payment in ancient times. During the construction of King Solomon's Temple, corn was one of the methods of payment. Sometimes you might also see wine and a jar of oil alongside the sheaf of corn.
The corn also represents charity. There was a custom to leave behind the last sheaf of corn in the field so the less fortunate could harvest it and use it as food for their families. This is a constant reminder for Masons that they should be charitable to those who are less fortunate.
This is symbolic of the eye of God. The eye can be traced back to the Egyptian god Osiris. The Egyptians used the image of an open eye to represent their god. There are also references to the all seeing eye of God in the Old Testament .