The Fascinating Invention That is the Key Ring

Published: 08th December 2009
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All aspects of our lives are held together by a small, lightweight metal coil - the Key Ring. Barely noticeable but always present, it holds together the things that are most important to us - they hold the keys to our house, our car, even the locks to our other precious belongings. Keys themselves were used as early as 4000 years ago, by Egyptians, and were considered symbols of power. The Key Ring is equally old and is as significant.

Also called a split ring, key rings may be made of metal, plastic, wood or even leather. They have evolved over time to have other uses and designs. Many designer brands, for example, have even created a trend of making specially-made key rings shaped as hearts, apples or with engravings.

The simplest design of the key ring is a double loop, where two ends in opposite sides. Here, the user will be able to insert or remove his keys securely without worrying of ever losing them. Other designs involve adding a smaller jointed contraption which releases the keys instead of slipping them into the coil.

The key ring is normally used not just to hold keys but also to hold other smaller items, such as key chains, key fobs, IDs or security tags.
The word "key ring" may also mean "key chain" - this is the small, oftentimes ornamental object placed alongside the keys and which holds them together. Key chains on their own have gained widespread use among all cultures in the world, whether for use or for ornamental purposes. You will find millions of keychain designs in many stores.

Typical designs include the stuffed toys, leather objects, souvenirs, replicas and metal logos. Other more creative designs involve flashlights, digital photo frames or even Swiss Army knives. Key chains and key rings are even considered a hobby for some avid collectors, due to their varied designs.

Key rings still continue to evolve today. More recently, they have been made as carabiners. The carabiner is a more advanced type of key ring, mostly used by professional mountain climbers to secure the ropes they are suspended from. Due to its strength, its use has been extended to include holding keys and valuables together. This is a more specialized and larger form of key holders.

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