Freemasonry dates back to the 16th century in Europe. They are the largest and oldest fraternal order in the world. Freemasonry uses the symbols of a stonemasons tools with the allegory of building King Solomon’s Temple. The Masons describe this as “a system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.”
The symbols have special meaning to the Masons. One symbol is the passing of the Masonic symbols down through generations, much like a family members pass heirlooms down from one generation to the next. Masons today are also proud of their affiliation with the Freemason Society and can show their loyalty and love for their organization and their brothers by displaying various Masonic collectibles and accessories.
Types of Masonic Collectibles:
There are a variety of collectibles available for purchase by Masons. These include cufflinks, pendants, lapel pins, keychains, paperweights, watches, rings, bookmarks, golf tees, and Masonic Bibles. Most of these are embossed with either the square and compass, which is the symbol of the Masons, or the Scottish Rite Rose Cross, or the Knights Templar Seal. Collectibles can be found for Masons who are firefighters, or nurses, or doctors. Just like the Masons themselves, these collectibles cover every walk of life.
For the serious collector, there are antique Masonic ceremonial swords. These are usually expensive, rare, and have a valued historic background. These swords are generally made of silver, gold, brass, or bronze. Masons who cannot find the antique swords may have them custom made. The swords can be inscribed with the symbol of an individual’s lodge and degrees, or inscribed with Masonic symbols that are special to the collector. Adding an inlay of precious gems or stones can also increase both the value and the cost of the sword. Masonic daggers are also available and can be done in the same style as swords. If purchasing a previously owned sword, collectors should be aware that if the sword or dagger belonged to famous Lodge member or belonged to a Lodge which no longer exists, the price will be higher. In the purchase of these, collectors are not only paying for the value of the sword or dagger itself, but also for the historic value of the item.
Other historic collectibles include older Masonic rings and Masonic art. Masonic rings are available in a variety of styles and prices. Some older Masonic rings are rings that were made by another Freemason. Collectors should consider the value of a ring that was made by another member of the brotherhood. The rings can be simple with just an enameled representation of the square and compass, or they can be elaborate designs with precious gems and detailed inscriptions. Again, if the ring formerly belonged to a famous Mason, the value is raised due to historic value. Masonic art, can be on canvas or a reproduction and can include works done by many of the Old Masters. Old documents and Masonic leather aprons can also fall into this category.
Where to Purchase Masonic Collectibles:
Masonic collectibles can be purchased from specialty retailers, jewelry stores, and antique dealers. Masons may also network with other Masons to find collectibles. Masons may find collectibles online. However, as when purchasing anything online,check the reliability and the reputation of the seller.
Regardless of whether purchasing a valuable antique or one of the more common Masonic collectibles, the buyer should ensure that the piece speaks to him whether for it’s historical value or it’s intrinsic value. The buyer should make sure that he owns a collection and purchases pieces that symbolize his faith and ideals within the Masons.