How do these rings compare to the actual ring used in the movie trilogy? Taking this as the ring the others tried to approximate, let’s see how close they came.
Let’s start with the two given official New Line Cinema licenses in the US. The Applause version of the ring is a gold colored metal ring, and about a size seven (only one size is available). The inscription is engraved in thin black letters. The inscription, while well done, is not as detailed as it could be. It resembles the inscription in the movie, but does not match it. The ring as a whole has a similar wide band as the one used in the film with rounded edges. The actual movie ring (see our accompanying article for more information) is a bit heftier than the applause version with rounder, slightly less square edges. Overall, the ring is a pretty good replica of the one used in the film, especially considering the price. Applause has also released a second version of the One Ring for the Holiday 2002 season. It featured the same ring with a different light up base and different packaging.
The Noble collection ring is much more expensive and that expense buys you two things: a precious metal (the Noble One Ring is now available in pure gold, or in gold plated sterling silver) and a laser engraved inscription. The quality in the inscription shows. It’s finely detailed and looks very much like the script used in the film. The only problem with this is that the inscription in not centered in the middle of the band. As a result, it looks as if the inscription favors a side of the ring. The ring itself though has much thinner band than the one used in the film though it does have the ring’s rounded edges and overall shape. It is only available in one size, US size 10.
The Antioch Bookmark ring is also a decent replica of the ring. It features fine engraving on both the inside and outside of the ring that is small since the band is considerably thinner than the movie ring is, but this ring was not designed as a replica but rather a bead to a bookmark. The ring is about a size 7, and for the money, satisfies most fans who desire a replica ring.
The Monnaie de Paris ring is also an officially licensed New Line replica and features a band that has rounded edges and a very legible engraving. The engraving is not as delicate as those featured on the Noble Ring or the Harmony ring, but suffices nonetheless. The rings are available in only one size. The inscription is featured on both the inside and outside of the ring for the bronze and silver version of the ring but only on the outside of the gold ring. The silver version of this ring features a black inscription, all other versions are natural (not painted) inscriptions. The band is not as wide or as hefty as the movie ring but is a well made replica.
The German version of the One Ring is also an officially licensed New Line product and is sold in variety of precious metals and available in a variety of sizes. While the band is thick, it is also very square. It is very cylindrical looking, whereas the movie version has a more of a donut-like appearance. The inscription is engraved into the ring, and is fairly accurate but does not have the same fine detail as the Noble version. The engraving is much thicker and in this author’s opinion does not look as authentic.
The Te Papa Museum Ring features a somewhat rounded band with an inscription on both the inside and the outside of the ring. The inscription of this ring lacks fine detail (like those of the Harmony and Nobel rings) and looks hand engraved. The gold ring features a natural inscription whereas the silver ring features a black inscription.
The Badali version of the One Ring is not a replica of the movie version. It is an interpretation of the ring from the book as seen by the ring’s creator, Paul Badali. The Badali versions of the One Ring are hefty wide gold bands with rounded edges, and at first glance resemble the movie version. They differ in that there are not as round. The inscription on the Badali version is a thicker version of the script and has a fine handwritten appearance. The inscription can be painted with red, black, or left in its natural state. The precious metal rings are available in various sizes whereas a less-expensive gold plated version metal version is a fixed size 10.
The Harmony Gold version of the One Ring, another officially New Line product, contains what this author considers as the best inscription. It is easily legible and most resembles the script used in the film. It is perhaps not as intricate as the one on the Noble ring (this ring does not feature laser engraving) but it is centered perfectly in the middle of the band. The ring itself though again suffers from being a bit too square, simply a rectangular band of gold with a barely perceptible curvature. It is available in a variety of sizes and weights.
Considering that the Jens Hansen ring was used in the film, it should stand to reason that their replicas are the most accurate—indeed they are. It should be noted, however, that the ring does differ in one small way from the movie ring. While the ring as a whole is a clone of the movie ring, the inside band of the ring features a small Jens Hansen hallmark, marking it as authentic. This is a minor issue since most of the time this really can’t be seen, but for the sake of completeness, it should be mentioned. Also, as mentioned earlier, because the Jens Hansen Workshop is not an official New Line Cinema licensee, it does not bear the Tengwar inscription, and therefore they cannot call their ring “official” though theirs is really the ring that should be bear this title. Each ring is made individually and comes in various sizes.
While there may not only be One Ring, the choices out there are varied enough to suit anyone’s taste or budget, should you fancy a ring of your own. Be wary, though, of the power of the One Ring. It may just consume you.
Ride the Links
The Applause One Ring
The German One Ring Click on Der Herr der Ringe and then Die Eine Ring. Thanks to Diane van Os for the updated link
The Harmony Gold One Ring
Officially they still sell the ring but have lost the rights to sell it anywhere but South Africa. According to a company representative, once this is sorted out, the ring will once again be sold in the US.
The Jens Hansen One Ring
The Noble Collection One Ring
Antioch Publishing-The Bookmark Ring
The New Zealand Museum Te Papa Exhibition Store
Monnaie De Paris One Ring (French)