posted on May, 6 2011 @ 09:48 AM
Your father's ring is a Scottish Rite ring. The symbols on the side are the symbols of the four coordinate bodies:
The inverted triangle containing the Hebrew letter "Yud" represents the 14th degree, that of Grand Elect Mason. This is conferred in the first body
of the AASR known as the Lodge of Perfection. The Lodge confers degrees 4 - 14.
The diamond containing the scales of justice represents the 16th degree, Prince of Jerusalem. This is conferred in the second body known as the
Council, Princes of Jerusalem. The Council confers degrees 15 and 16.
The rosy cross represents the 18th degree, Knight of the Rose Croix. This is conferred in the third body known as the Chapter of Rose Croix. The
chapter confers degrees 17 and 18.
The inverted triangle containing the number 32 obviously alludes to the 32nd degree, Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret. This is conferred in the
fourth body known as the Consistory. Consistory confers degrees 19 through 32.
The double headed eagle on the top of the ring is the Eagle of Lagash. It is emblematic of the Scottish Rite. Several meanings have been attributed
to it, a quick google search will get you started.
The AASR in the US is governed by two separate Supreme Councils, the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction which roughly covers north of the Mason-Dixon line
and east of the Mississippi, and the Southern Jurisdiction, which covers the rest of the country. The information I have provided covers the NMJ,
I'm pretty sure the SJ organizes their bodies a little differently. Some of the names of their degrees vary from ours as well. Having seen several
rings like your father's, there is a good likelihood that the engravings on the sides were once enameled and quite colorful. There are several
jewelers around that handle restorations and could do a nice job restoring the ring to it's original state if you are so inclined.
Regarding non-members wearing the ring, I have mixed feelings. I understand if that is all you have left of your father, however, you are putting
yourself out there as something you are not by publicly displaying it. I have an uncle that was an Annapolis grad and Naval Aviator, yet I would
never dream of wearing his wings (even though I am a pilot as well, just not a Navy one) or his ring.