The Different Types of Rings


When most people think of rings, they envision diamonds and glam cocktail baubles—but there are a lot of other types of jewelry pieces that can fall into this category. From traditional wedding bands to stackable syringe-like designs, there are so many different ways to style this type of accessory. And as it turns out, the type of ring you wear has a lot to do with your personality and even carries some pretty interesting symbolism.

Rings have long been used as symbols of fidelity, adornment and social status. They can be worn on the hands (see finger ring), ears, and toes—and in some cultures, even through the nose. They can be made from almost any hard material and can be decorated with stones, gems, metal or wood. They can be carved or etched with insignia, engraved with text or fitted with a small compartment in which to conceal objects. There are also special rings that are worn to signify certain events: wedding and engagement rings, memorial rings with an inscription or effigy of the deceased; posy rings bearing an inscription or few lines of poetry or verse; occult rings that functioned as talismans or amulets; poison rings with hollow bezels for holding deadly substances; and ringlets, which have an appearance like a hoop but fit snugly on the finger.

Each finger had a symbolic association or meaning (most of which have disappeared in antiquity and vary with culture) for the placement of a ring. The index finger of the active hand symbolizes leadership and authority; wearing a ring on this finger encourages ambition and self-assertion. The thumb finger of the active hand represents willpower and a desire to control one’s environment; it is advised that the thumb finger be worn with gemstones that inspire confidence, such as rubies or carnelians.

In games, rings can protect a player from losing a life upon taking damage from enemy attacks or other damaging obstacles. However, rings cannot protect players against being crushed by enemies or falling into bottomless pits.

Choosing which finger to wear a ring is mostly a matter of preference nowadays. Depending on the ring style, it can be stacked or placed on the top of the finger, near the nail.

The index finger is also an ideal place to wear a fashion ring. These rings, typically adorned with flowers or butterflies, can be quite eye-catching and stylish. For this reason, they are very popular with women.

Measuring a person’s finger size for a ring requires an accurate and precise method. A string, twine or paper should be wrapped around the finger just below the knuckle for an accurate reading. It is usually best to measure a finger in the evening, as the fingers are colder and thus smaller than at other times of the day. When measuring, be sure to wrap the string close to the knuckle, where the ring will sit most comfortably. It is a good idea to measure the finger multiple times to ensure an accurate measurement.