Saturday, March 12, 2011

May an Entered Apprentice or Fellow Craft wear a masonic ring as freemason?

Dear Reader,

please note that in order to answer the question whether an Entered Apprentice may wear a masonic ring as freemason, I will for the sake of argument neither claim to be a freemason nor to not be a freemason.

I will rather lead the reader, may he or she be a mason of any obedience or not, trough the argument and will have him or her decide alone based on logic, whether an Entered Apprentice may or may not wear a masonic ring and whether the mason himself wishes to obtain a ring for the purpose of wearing it.


1.     Historically, members of the fraternity wait until they pass their Master Mason's degree and then purchase a Master Mason's ring.
2.     Masonic rings for the first 2 degrees are not viewed as significant.
3.     An Entered Apprentice ring is not considered as credible.
4.     If you begin wearing it before you have been raised, your lodge brothers may perceive you to be one who takes what is not rightfully theirs, without having earned the right and privilege to do so.
All the original arguments have to be respected and are valid within their own logic.

Q.: Nonetheless, why do masons wear masonic rings?

A.: For three reasons:
  • For the heartfelt desire, the promise,...the oath...the obligation,...the word... which bonds him to the fraternity.
  • The intense inner and intrinsic need of every person to be a part of a group of others who hold similar beliefs and purposes
  • As Seal of Authenticity:  any Masonic ring is an outward sign of the authenticity as a Mason within the brotherhood
Q.: For which reason would an Entered Apprentice want to wear a masonic ring?
A.: Because of the exact same above three reasons!

Q.: Is there a logical reason why an Entered Apprentice should not wear a masonic ring?
A.: Here comes the most important answer: it soly depends where a mason intends to wear a masonic ring!

Q.: Where could an Entered Apprentice actually wear a masonic ring?
A.: He could either wear it at home, in the lodge or in public.

1) Wearing a masonic ring at home
It makes very much sense for an an Entered Apprentice to actually wear a masonic ring at home, when the mason is reading the lecture(s) for the Entered Apprentice degree. The same is true for the Fellow Craft reading the lecture(s) or reflecting upon instructions for the Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft degree.
Feeling the circlet around a Freemason's finger will certainly provide you with such an emotional feeling of wholeness, of stability, and inner completeness that will help you in memorizing, reflecting and developing a deeper understanding of the symbols and lectures to become a better mason and human person.

2) Wearing a masonic ring in the lodge
The below original articles point out a very valid point: it would be very embarrassing if an Entered Apprentice or even worse a Fellow Craft would wear the ring of a master mason in lodge or in the temple. This would not only cause massive embarrassment for the bearer, but also for the lodge. Every well instructed Entered Apprentice will be explained why both points (legs) of the compass lie under the square. Every well instructed Fellow Craft will have been instructed additionally to this also why for the the Fellow Craft degree the left point (leg) of the compass lies on top of the square and the right point (leg) of the compass lies under the square. As Entered Apprentice or even worse as Fellow Craft wearing a master mason ring, where the master mason ring has both points of the compass overlaid on top of the square, would embarrass the lodge and all instructing members - which are by masonic thinking actually all members of the lodge. The embarrassment could be especially bad if it turns out that guests from other lodges are visiting and might wonder, if that the EA or FC has not been properly instructed which the correct symbolism for the degree is and why the symbolism is essential to this degree.

Q.: What is meant by the symbol for the Entered Apprentice (EA)?

A.: Symbolically, this means that the Entered Apprentice has not yet learned to circumscribe his passions upon the square of virtue.

Q.: And that of a Fellow Craft (FC)?

A.: Symbolically, the Fellow Craft has advanced to the halfway point toward mastering control over himself, his passions and his desires.

Keep both explanations in mind, we will come back to these when we look upon wearing a masonic ring in public.

Q.: Now that I know the correct symbolism to look for when choosing a masonic ring, can I ask my lodge if I may wear at least a masonic ring with the correct symbols of an Entered Apprentice in an Entered Apprentice lodge and a masonic ring with the correct symbols of a Fellow Craft in a Fellow Craft lodge?

A.: Yes you may and it may be required for you to do so. Actually the answer whether you may or may not wear a masonic ring with the correct symbolism for your degree will very much depend on three factors: 

a) your obedience
As you may or may not know there are so called obediences. Freemasonry is a very diverse field of many masonic bodies with a very diverse universe of interpretations of Anderson`s Constitution from 1723.

Depending on your obedience, your Grand Lodge, you being part of a dogmatic or adogmatic (liberal) masonic obedience, body and Grand Lodge, you may receive a very different answer.

To give you a quick glance how many Grand Lodges and masonic bodies are existing, please view this still incomplete list:

b) Your Worshipful Master
Freemasons being a mason for many years already know that in almost all Grand Lodges there is the way various topics are communicated to be by a Grand Lodge (GL) and then there is the way they are interpreted and thus executed by the Worshipful Master (WM) at the respective lodge. It may very well be that one WM will allow to wear an EA /FC ring during an EA/FC lodge while another WM of the same GL will deny such a request.

c) the mindset of the person you ask
As you may not want to approach your WM directly with the request, you might choose to ask someone within the lodge you trust has a good idea how other brethren will react to the request itself or wearing an EA/FC ring during an EA/FC lodge without a request. You should think of the person you know best of your lodge and ask that person about its opinion. What ever that person opinion to the matter is, you should follow it considering that this person has certainly your best interest at heart.
Especially if your obedience has a system of having required you before applying to your lodge for membership having a person guaranteeing for your standing and vouching for your character, you would harm that person`s standing were you to wear a ring in the lodge without asking that specific person about its opinion first.

3) Wearing a masonic ring in public
At this point we come back to the above explanations regarding the meaning of the symbolism of the EA degree and the FC degree. The Entered Apprentice has not only yet learned to circumscribe his passions upon the square of virtue, he has not yet learned enough of the craft to make any public statements about it. Here is the true reason why an Entered Apprentice should not wear a masonic ring in public. The Entered Apprentice ring would not be recognized by a non-mason as Entered Apprentice ring, but as masonic ring. The wearer of the ring can be very sure that it is just a question of time when he will be asked about being a mason and how he thinks about masonry - not if he is going to be asked. Herein lies a deep problem of our time: the internet, the very same medium that you use to read these lines, serves as a forum for a variety of idea. While freemasonry especially means being tolerant to other opinions, freemasonry still has its right to be protected against incorrect statements. Here it might not be a person blogging or youtubing about freemasonry, but you yourself giving a statement about freemasonry. As Entered Apprentice you will most likely not have much knowledge gathered about the craft yet. Even though you might have read a lot about masonry, every mason will continue to tell you that reading about something and experiencing it in order to make it a part of yourself are two different worlds.

Therefore, you must recognize that if you wear a masonic ring, it is just a matter of time when you will be asked about masonry and depending on your skill and knowledge of the craft, you might unknowingly damage the craft you actually are proud of - otherwise why would you wear a masonic ring?!

There is one interesting thought: what if the mason was indeed instructed to be a master mason and has been properly raised, but within a One-Day Class (ODC), meaning within one weekend he has gone through all three blue lodge degrees - here an example of such ODCs:

If a mason has absolved an ODC, he is recognized as master mason and can therefore wear a master mason ring. Even though the mason has been properly instructed for all three degrees, it will be very difficult to memorize all that was instructed and it will take time for the new master mason to make the so freshly received knowledge a part of the person itself. Do I write this because I want to argue that this mason does not know enough in order to answer questions about masonry, provided the mason wears a master mason ring on the next day after having gone within 24 hours through all three degrees of blue lodge masonry?

No, but the point is that any mason should always understand that when he wears masonic jewelery in public, he represents the craft. Unless a person really feels knowledgeable enough to represent the very ideas he so proudly wears upon his hand, the person should not do so.


1. Any Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft should own a ring with his respective degree to wear it at home whenever feeling like it and especially when reading and reflecting on one`s degree and instruction(s). Being an Entered Apprentice means looking into yourself and a masonic ring reflecting the symbolism of your degree can very much help you achieving that goal. When at home reflecting, wear the ring pointing inwards.
2. Ask a trusted member first about wearing it within your lodge. If granted, wear the ring pointing outwards.
3. No one can really forbid you as such to wear a masonic ring or masonic jewelery in public - as being a freemason means being loyal, but free. Still, regarding the loyalty you must consider the trust that was conferred to you by your fellow brethren when admitting you to the craft. They admitted you because they trust you to not bring harm to the craft. Go to youtube, search for information about "masonry" and think again if you are equipped with enough masonic knowledge to give proper explanations about what masonry is and not is.

Here the information you have waited for to receive:

Your Entered Apprentice ring to order:

Please use the above link to order. 15% of the proceeds will be received by this Blog by Amazon as Associate. These proceeds will be donated to charity projects for people who need the proceeds more than you or I do. There is no price difference for your order whether you use the link here or go to Amazon without using above link - the rings will always cost the same price. But there is a difference to the charity projects that will receive your proceeds. I trust you understand the logic here.

You find below this point the original arguments with their source links.


Q:  Now that I have passed my Entered Apprentice degree, can I wear an Entered Apprentice Ring?

A:  Historically, members of the fraternity wait until they pass their Master Mason's degree and then purchase a Master Mason's ring.

A:  Update: When this page was originally written, there was no such thing as an Entered Apprentice ring, however, a few industrious craftsmen now offer Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft rings which are available for sale on various websites.

Traditionally, however, only Master Mason rings are viewed by Freemasons as authentic.

In the United States, most members who attain their Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft degrees have only a relatively short period of time before they become a Master Mason, making rings for the first 2 degrees quickly unnecessary and therefore, never worn again.

However, in some other countries, such as Australia, becoming a Master Mason is a much longer journey which is performed in the time-honored method, which includes proficiency and in which it takes 7 years to go from Entered Apprentice to Master Mason.

Q:  So, why did you write a page about it?

A:  There are 3 reasons.

To help you understand that, while available, rings for the first 2 degrees are not viewed as significant, and thus, help you end your time spent looking for one.

To save you any small embarrassment to yourself which might be caused by asking one of your lodge members.

To help you learn more about how each degree displays the Square and Compasses, so you may better understand what your Master Mason's ring symbolizes...which you will read more about a little farther down this page.
Q:  I see other brethren wearing rings.  What kind of rings are they?

A:  They are Master Mason rings, (also called Masonic rings), which
     may only be worn after the brother has passed his 3rd degree,
     …and become a Master Mason.

Q:  I’m very proud to have passed my Entered Apprentice degree
     (and sad that an Entered Apprentice ring is not considered as credible).
     So, can I purchase a Master Mason’s ring, now?

A:  The Master Mason’s ring signifies and honors your achievement of
     having passed the 3rd degree.

     The raising of a brother to the “Sublime degree of Master Mason” is
     a high honor, indeed.  However, while you may purchase your Master
     Mason’s ring before you pass your degree; it is best to wait until you
     have a full understanding of what the ring symbolizes before you begin
     to wear it.

Q:  I want everyone to know how proud I am to be an Entered Apprentice.
     What would happen if I purchased and began wearing a Master Mason ring?

A:  In the United States, it is possible to pass all 3 degrees in 3-6 months.   In other countries, becoming a Master Mason typically takes approximately 7 years.

Therefore, while you may purchase your Master Mason ring, it would be advisable not to wear it until you have, indeed, received your 3rd degree.
     If you begin wearing it before you have been raised, your lodge
     brothers may perceive you to be one who takes what is not rightfully
     theirs, without having earned the right and privilege to do so... and in
     all probability, one of them will gently call you aside to admonish you
     as to the impropriety of such.

Freemasonry Degree Symbols

Within Freemasonry, there are 3 levels, (or 3 degrees)...Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason.  Each degree is symbolized by how the square and compass is displayed. 

Entered Apprentice Degree Symbol:

Both points (legs) of the compass lie under the square.

The Entered Apprentice degree symbolizes Youth.

Symbolically, this means that the Entered Apprentice has not yet learned to circumscribe his passions upon the square of virtue

Fellow Craft Degree Symbol:

The left point (leg) of the compass lies on top of the square and the right point (leg) of the compass lies under the square.

Simon-Sez:  An easy way to remember this is "Up north, down south" (symbolic of the plumb.)

The Fellowcraft degree symbolizes Manhood.

Symbolically, the Fellowcraft has advanced to the halfway point toward mastering control over himself, his passions and his desires.

Master Mason Degree Symbol:

The Master Mason degree symbolizes Age.

A Master Mason ring has both points of the compass overlaid on top of the square

The compasses overlaid upon the square is symbolic of maturity and with maturity comes the ability of the Mason to exert control over his life; his ability to square his actions by the square of virtue; to circumscribe his passions and desires with a symbolic compass, and to remember that just as geometry was central to an operative Mason’s trade, so too, should God be in the center of his life.”

EA:  The Entered Apprentice degree is a pledge of your word.

FC:  The Fellow Craft degree is an obligation of your spirit.

MM:  The Master Mason degree is your seal of authenticity as both
        a man of your word with the dedication of your spirit toward
        both the fraternity of Freemasonry and the brotherhood of man.


Men who seek non-university degrees and who may refuse to wear any other jewelry, (sometimes even their wedding ring), may seem strange to non-Masons.

Q: Why do Master Masons wear these rings?

A: To be forever bound to your obligation, which is your solemn promise, made of your own free will, before the Great Architect of the Universe, as well as your family, friends and brothers signifying your true and heartfelt desire to be forever bound in unity with the fraternity.
What is it about this circlet around a Freemason's finger that provides such an emotional feeling of wholeness, of stability, and inner completeness which each man craves in his very soul?

The Eternity of the Circle:  Marriage, too, is the heartfelt promise before the Great Architect to be forever bound in unity with another.  Marriage is a legal and emotional bond which ties 2 people together before their family, friends and our Creator,...but it is only in the act of the promise that true marital unity begins.

Therefore, within Freemasonry, the only thing that sets a Freemason apart from other men is his heartfelt desire, his promise,...his oath...his obligation,...his word... which bonds him to the fraternity...because he is, technically, free to leave the fraternity at any time he so chooses.

As our Creator has bestowed Free Will upon each of us, so, too, does the fraternity.

Cable Tow: Masonic rings are a visual sign to the world (no Masonic secret, here)...of the Cable Tow binding you to the brotherhood and the brotherhood to you.  It is the newly found desire, ... the intense inner and intrinsic need of every man to be a part of a group of others who hold similar beliefs and purposes.

Seal of Authenticity:  Your Masonic ring is an outward sign of your authenticity as a Master Mason within the brotherhood.

The Promise:  Therefore, as you can see, it is only in the act of the "promise" before the Creator from which brotherhood derives its true strength and beauty.

Q: When did men begin wearing a Freemason ring?

A:  No one knows, exactly, but they are not of new origin.

Q: How should I wear my Masonic ring?...with the points of the legs of the Compasses facing toward me or with the points of the legs facing away from me?...which is correct?

A: This question is, apparently, one of the most frequently requested items of information that is asked of M.S.A.N.A.& Masonic Service Association of North America). Their response is that it may be worn either way. ..the 2 points of the compasses may point to the brother to remind him of his obligation or the 2 points of the compasses may point toward others to show an outward sign of the wearer's authenticity as a Master Mason.
Respectfully, I disagree. If you have not read the information on my page, Freemason Masonic Signet ring, please feel free to do so. After you are aware of additional historical facts, you may decide, yourself, on how best to display your ring.

Q: Why are most (not all) of these rings, gold?

A: The short answer is that it is because of the high value and esteem with which gold has enjoyed across the millenniums (thousands of years). For a more complete answer, you may find more information on the Masonic Rings - Gold page.

Q: Which symbol is most commonly found upon the face of a Masonic Lodge ring?

A: The Square and Compasses.

Q: Why?

A: The symbols of the square and compasses denote several Masonic ideologies, but historically...somewhat analogous (like) to Boaz and Jachin, they symbolize 2 triangles, one pointing upward into the Heavens toward our Creator, and one pointing downward toward Earth ...and to man, our Creator's creation.

Q: Are there other types of Masonic rings in addition to Masonic lodge (Master Mason) rings?

A: Yes. There is no absolutely correct standard face which belongs to any of these rings, as craftsmen create them in many different styles.
Below, you may see the faces of other rings belonging to members of the fraternity to enable you to recognize these rings which are symbolic of a member first having attained his Master Mason degree.

Read more:


How to Wear a Masonic Ring:

Q: On which finger should I wear my Masonic Signet ring?

A: There is no right or wrong finger or right or wrong hand on which to wear your Masonic Signet Ring.

Most married men wear them on the opposite hand from which they wear a wedding ring...usually on their 3rd finger. They are also popularly worn on the little finger.

Q: Which direction should the Square and Compasses face?... If I lay my hand out flat in front of me, should the 2 "legs" of the
Compasses point toward me or point outward and away from me?

A: This subject is one on which Grand Lodges have made no regulation.
Popular opinion seems to be widely divided.

But, let's look at this more closely. When the emblem of the square and compasses is displayed on a building, or a button, universal custom requires that the points of the compasses point downward. When displayed on the Altar they point away from the Master.

While you may wear your ring with the 2 legs of the compasses pointing toward you, some say, to help you remember your obligation,...historically your Masonic Signet Ring is an outward showing to others denoting your "Seal of Authenticity" as a Master Mason.

The 2 legs of the compasses should, therefore, face away from you...just as the original signet rings did, which were used to imbed the image of their "seal" into the that the resulting waxen seal which was created by the ring has both legs of the compasses pointing downward.

Fraternal Masonic Signet Rings:

Modern day Freemasons proudly wear their Freemason rings as a symbol of their ongoing obligation of loyalty, their brotherhood and as a visual statement that they are a member of the oldest fraternity on Earth.

Some Freemasons may be unaware that a Master Mason ring can also be called a Blue Lodge Masonic ring or a Masonic Signet Ring because the word "signet" denotes the actual construction of the face of the ring.

In the past, in the United States, it may have taken 7 years to receive a Master Mason's degree. Within most U.S. jurisdictions in the United States, today, members may receive their Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason degrees within a few months.

Other jurisdictions and other countries may receive their Master Mason degree after a period of a year and in some jurisdictions around the world, becoming a Master Mason may take 7 years.

These jurisdictional differences are largely responsible for the length of time it takes to receive a Master Mason's degree, as not all jurisdictions around the world have proficiency requirements.

Upon completion of their Master Mason degree, like their brethren, many wish to display their "Seal of Authenticity" as a Master Mason by purchasing and wearing a Masonic signet ring.

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