Rings are a classic jewellery option that can add an element of style to any outfit. Simple and delicate, they lend themselves to mixing and matching for a bold stacked look or can be worn solo as a statement piece. Stackable rings are popular for everyday wear because they don’t catch on clothes, which can cause them to pull or snag, making them ideal for active lifestyles.
Rings have been around for thousands of years, with early examples including signet rings that were used to seal documents with the owner’s mark. Later, the ancient Greeks wore rings for decoration and in the Hellenistic period rings began to feature gemstones. Romans were more likely to wear rings for practical purposes, using them as an indication of social status.
The most common type of ring is a band, usually with a circular cross-section but sometimes square or rectangular. These can be made from a variety of metals, from silver to gold to platinum. The band may be a flat or raised, and can feature a groove or channel that holds the gem. Rings can also be bezel set with a gem or carved in relief with an image or text.
Many of the most commonly worn rings are those meant to signify engagement or marriage. These often feature a centre stone, either a diamond or another precious gem, and are traditionally set in a solitaire or halo setting. Other options include a three-stone design, or one featuring a mixture of coloured gemstones in a mixed metal setting. For those who aren’t ready for commitment, there are also simple bands that can be stacked with other pieces or worn as a statement piece.
It’s thought that the rings of Saturn are primarily composed of chunks of ice, or frozen water, with a small amount of rock and dust. This ice is held in shape by shepherd moons, tiny satellites that orbit within the rings and help to stabilise them. These aren’t visible to the human eye but can be spotted by the Cassini spacecraft, which has captured pictures of the rings as they rotate.
Saturn’s rings are extremely thin compared to how wide they are, and this is thought to be down to a process called dynamic stability. Particles in the rings are constantly colliding, but as they pass through the disc they get pulled up and down by the gravitational force of Saturn. This causes them to be very circular as they move around, rather than the more elongated shapes they would have if they were in more inclined orbits.
Stackable rings are popular for everyday wear, especially when they’re made from metals that are hard and durable enough to stand up to the rigours of an active life. For this reason, it’s best to invest in a ring that’s insured and has an appraisal, so you can be sure your purchase is authentic and worth its price. Choosing stones that can take a beating is also important, says Wofford. These are harder than diamonds, so they’re less prone to damage from bumping into things or being knocked against.