Olive ring box with flip up (hinged) lid. Black velvet lined cushion interior.
Size 64 x 71 x 43mm (please note maximum ring height of 22mm, see diagram in gallery)
Olive Olea europaea
Olive wood is derived from the olive tree, a species of small, fruit-bearing tree found in much of Africa, the Mediterranean basin, the Arabian Peninsula and southern Asia. It is deep brown in colour with strong, oil-like grain patterns that are a beautiful distinguishing feature.
Olive trees have thick, irregular trunks and knotted branches, making for interesting-shaped planks that are rarely angular. Olive trees can live for hundreds of years, and while they take a long time to grow, the wood is often a by-product of the agricultural industry, since trees eventually stop producing good fruit. This makes (much) olive wood a sustainable material.
The Olive tree is thought to have originated in Asia Minor, where it was cultivated as early as 6000 years ago. From there it spread to the eastern Mediterranean, where it is known to have been cultivated since 3000 BC. From there it did not take long for it to spread throughout the Mediterranean region, which is still one of the most important region of cultivation today, although other countries with a Mediterranean climate, such as Chile, South Africa and California, New Zealand, Mexico and many others, have also adopted this gift from the Goddess Athena.
The ancient civilizations of Asia Minor certainly valued this precious tree – and not just for culinary purposes, either. The ancient Egyptians used it in their embalming recipes to preserve the mummies of their kings as well as in the preparation of numerous cosmetic lotions and potions, pomades and pastes.
In the times before electricity and paraffin, Olive oil was also widely used as a lamp oil and in the days of antiquity, that meant it kept the sacred flames in the temples burning. Olive oil was considered a numinous substance, which served as a sacred salve or consecration oil to purify the physical body in honor of the Gods. The ancient Greek greeting ‘salve’ meaning as much as ‘may you be oiled’ implies this use of Olive oil as a blessing and sanctifying substance. The word ‘salvation’ takes it’s meaning from the same root.
The Bible is full of references to the sacred Olive trees and even the Old Testament bears witness to its importance: Moses exempted from the military service those who devoted their time to Olive cultivation. Elsewhere we hear that Noah received the message that peace and tranquility had returned to earth, by way of a dove that carried a twig of Olive in its beak. It is not surprising that Olive has come to symbolize peace and protection, and some people even argue that the tree of life in the garden of Eden must have been an Olive tree.