What Are Rings?

Rings have been worn to signify love and commitment for thousands of years. Today, there are countless ways to wear a ring that celebrates your relationship and personal style. Whether you’re looking for the perfect engagement or wedding ring, or just a stack of chunky rings to complement your outfit, there’s a design that is right for you.

A ring is a band of metal, usually round in shape, that is worn as ornamental jewelry on the finger or other part of the body. Rings may be plain, or set with gemstones. They are typically worn as decorative jewellery but can also serve as status symbols, used to distinguish members of a group or to identify certain occupations. A ring may be worn on any finger, though the ring finger of the left hand is traditionally used for marriage or commitment rings.

Rings can be made of almost any hard material, including wood, bone, stone, glass, plastic or metal. They are generally not loose bands, but tight fitting rings that fit snugly around the part of the body they ornament.

The concept of rings in mathematics developed from the 1870s to 1920s, with key contributions by Dedekind domains, Hilbert spaces, Fraenkel spaces and Noether spaces. They were first formalized as generalizations of the familiar properties of addition and multiplication, and later proved useful in other branches of mathematics, such as geometry and analysis.

Examples of commutative rings include the set of integers with their standard operations of addition and multiplication, the ring of polynomials, the coordinate ring of an affine algebraic variety and the ring of invariants of a topological space. Noncommutative rings include the ring of n x n real square matrices with complex entries, the ring of group algebras in representation theory, the ring of differential operators in functional analysis and the cohomology rings in topology.

There are also rings in the Solar System: the outer planets, the Moons of the inner planets and the Kuiper belt objects. These planetary rings have provided clues about the formation of the Solar System, including the fact that there is a gap in its evolution, which suggests that it once contained a larger body, perhaps a colossal satellite, that broke apart.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a ring, from its design and materials to the size and shape of the wearer’s fingers and hands and their lifestyle. For example, a ring for someone who has an active lifestyle will need to be durable, and it is also important that the ring fits well so that it doesn’t get caught on or snagged on anything. Finally, if the wearer is allergic to certain metals, it’s best to choose hypoallergenic rings. This way, the person can still wear their ring while finding out what’s causing their allergy and how to treat it. In some cases, a hypoallergenic ring can even replace a ring that is too small or no longer fits.