CeremonialKeys.com is a division of Engraving, Awards & Gifts of Laconia, New Hampshire, USA. Our family-owned company has been designing and personalizing recognition, ceremonial and gift products since 1992 and has earned a reputation as a fast, dependable and capable supplier to the world's largest and most respected companies.
CeremonialKeys.com is home to our selection of key products. Many of our products have been designed and manufactured by us, and most personalization and assembly takes place in-house at our corporate headquarters. These products are available for purchase with or without customization.
Engraving, Awards & Gifts operates a variety of specialty websites all focused on personalized products. Our staff includes in-house graphic designers using state of the art technology to design and prepare your artwork for engraving or imprinting.
How did the tradition of giving a "key to the city" originate? Was it ever a real key?
The practice of bestowing a ceremonial "key to the city" dates back to medieval times. Feudal lords protected their cities with high walls and imposing gates. All manner of legal papers and customs taxes were required to enter and exit.
A "key to the city" gave an important diplomat or merchant the authority to pass at will. A similar ceremonial honor, "freedom of the city," also dates back from the days of knights and jousts. Freemen were distinguished from vassals, who were legally owned by feudal lords. Oh, the bad old days.
Today, cities give their keys to esteemed visitors, prominent locals, and worthy organizations. Last year New York City awarded a key to a taxi driver who graciously returned a bag containing tens of thousands of dollars in pearls.