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For hundreds of years, the Freemasons - or Masons, as they are often called - have been one of the most mysterious and talked-about fraternal societies in the world. Established as a non-religious, non-political, charitable organisation, Freemasonry has its roots in British history, with the first Grand Lodge being founded in London, England, in 1717. Today, Masonic lodges are located across the globe. The symbolism associated with the Freemasons has generated much interest over the years; symbols include the All-Seeing Eye, the Blazing Star and - perhaps the most important - the Square and Compasses. These symbols and others can be found on various items, such as rings, pendants, cufflinks and medals, marking the owner's membership with the organisation. Vintage and antique examples of Masonic accessories are available on the collectors' market, coveted for their craftsmanship as well as the intriguing history surrounding them.

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