Rings are circular bands worn around the fingers, the toes and the ears (see earring). Throughout history rings have served many purposes, from adornment to symbols of fidelity or authority. A ring can also be a sign of eternal love or an indication of a religious vow.
Rings come in all shapes and sizes. They can be made of precious metals, such as gold and silver, or less expensive materials such as leather, bone, or tungsten carbide. They can be simple, or elaborate works of art, adorned with gemstones, crystals, pearls or other decorations. They can even have meaningful inscriptions, or have a meaningful shape, such as a heart.
A ring can be worn by a man or woman, as a sign of affection or commitment, or simply to make a style statement. In ancient Egypt, rings were often engraved with the wearer’s name in hieroglyphics or other script on an oblong gold bezel. In the Roman Empire, rings were more commonly used as a symbol of status and wealth and bore the names and titles of the wearer. In more recent times, the use of a ring to signify a promise or engagement has become a tradition in many cultures.
Among the most common and classic rings are solitaire, pave, and halo diamond settings. These are often chosen for their timeless beauty and the sense of elegance they lend to a hand. Other popular styles include emerald cut, oval, marquise, pear and radiant cut diamonds.
Other gemstones that have been worn as rings include rubies and sapphires, with the latter being particularly popular. Sapphires are a deep blue color and have been associated with royalty in several cultures. They are considered a symbol of integrity and loyalty, making them a popular choice for wedding or engagement rings.
Planetary rings, which surround the outer surfaces of Jupiter and Saturn, are composed of bits of ice and rock that are torn apart by the planets’ gravity. There are a few theories of their origin: one is that they were once a single moon and got squished together; another is that they were formed when asteroids, comets or other objects passed too close to the planets and were torn apart by their gravity.
The most important consideration when shopping for a ring is finding the right size. It is best to measure the finger before going shopping, or at least try on a few different styles and sizes to find what will fit. It is also important to consider how comfortable the ring will be to wear, since it will be worn every day for many years. Lastly, it is always a good idea to keep the budget in mind, as prices can go up and down depending on the carat weight of the diamond or other stone.