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What did the Rings look like and What Were They Made From?

From: Erik Tracy

Saruman's study of the Rings provides us with useful information as to their appearance. Gandalf recounts the history of the One Ring during the Council of Elrond by recalling the words of Saruman:
    "The Nine, the Seven, and the Three", he said, "had each their proper gem. Not so the One. It was round and unadorned, as it were one of the lesser rings; but its maker set marks upon it that the skilled, maybe, could still see and read."
    [The Fellowship of the Ring]
These letters could be seen when the One Ring was heated, as in Frodo's fire where Gandalf confirms his suspicions by making the inscriptions appear as fiery letters of elven script in the Black Tongue.

We also know the types of gems used for the Three Elven Rings:
    Narya was set with a ruby.
    Nenya was set with a adamant.
    Vilya was set with a sapphire.
We also know that Nenya was made of mithril and Vilya was made of gold from the description in Grey Havens.
    "There was Gildor and many fair Elven folk; and there to Sam's wonder rode Elrond and Galadriel. Elrond wore a mantle of grey and had a star upon his forehead, and a silve harp was in his hand, and upon his finger was a ring of gold with a great blue stone, Vilya, mightiest of three. But Galadriel sat upon a white palfrey and was robed all in glimmering white, like clouds about the Moon; for she herself seemed to shine with a soft light. On her finger was Nenya, the ring wrought of mithril, that bore a single white stone flickering like a frosty air."
As for the Seven Dwarven Rings, we know that they, too were of gold from the Silmarillion where it was said "that the foundation of each of the Seven Hoards of the Dwarf-kings of old was a golden ring." However, we do not know what gems were used in the rings.

Although it is not written what the Nine were made of it would be safe to assume they too were of gold since all the other rings were.

On this page you can find everything about the Rings of Power.
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