I was reading this answer and remembered the scene in one of the Lord of the Rings movies where Frodo slips the Ring on. He vanishes the second the tip of his finger enters the ring and doesn't reappear until no part of his finger is inside the ring.

When Frodo wears the ring on a chain around his neck, the chain goes all the way through the inside of the ring. Why doesn't the chain disappear?

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    I thought I read somewhere that the ring reacts differently to different species and only Hobbits disappear. Other species would do something else. I don't have a source though. Also the chain isn't alive. – OghmaOsiris Jan 25 '12 at 20:48
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    I'm no LOTR scholar like some here, but I assume it's because the magic of the ring only works on beings, not on objects. – Ian Pugsley Jan 25 '12 at 20:48
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    @OghmaOsiris: Isildur was also rendered invisible by the Ring when he wore it, up until it slipped of his finger, resulting in his allergy to being shot multiple times by Orc arrows to rear its ugly head. – dlanod Jan 25 '12 at 21:03

The One Ring gave powers to its wearer according to their stature. It gave invisibility and immortality of a kind to mortal beings, the ability to dominate minds to those strong of will, and would greatly enhanced the existing power of those with power (Sauron, Gandalf and Galadrial, for example). The powers granted varied, as Sauron was not rendered invisible when he was wearing the Ring in the Third Age battle against Elendil and Gil-Galad. Hence invisibility itself was not inherent to the Ring, but dependant on the wearer.

However it also works its power through the mind of its bearer, and also by affecting those in its immediate vicinity (Smeagol murdering Deagol, Boromir attacking Frodo). It does not exert any influence of inanimate or unthinking objects, so the chain for instance would not become invisible.

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    "Would you like to know more?" – Xantec Jan 25 '12 at 20:57
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    Having "grown up" on AFT and RABT, I always remain sceptical of Wikia when it doesn't cite primary sources. :) – dlanod Jan 25 '12 at 21:01
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    And if you really want to know a lot more, I just stumbled across an excellent essay at tolkienonline.de/etep/ring_toc.html when refreshing my memory. But that might be jumping in a bit too deep... – dlanod Jan 25 '12 at 21:08
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    what would happen if it was somehow slipped around glamdring/sting's/Anduril/one of the elven rings? After all, they're all inanimate, yet semi-sentient/thinking items. – acolyte Jul 9 '12 at 14:14
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    Are they at all sentient? I thought that while the weapons, for example, light up when orcs come near, it was just a spell. The only "semi-sentient" object in the LotR that I know of is the One Ring itself. – dlanod Jul 9 '12 at 21:32

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