# What Are Rings?

A circular band of precious metal, often set with gemstones, worn as jewelry on the finger. Traditionally, rings had symbolic associations respecting marriage, betrothal or engagement, and the status of being a member of an organization. The ring was also used as a sign of friendship and courtship. Today, the ring is usually worn as an ornament and for conspicuous display of wealth.

The ring, or number ring, is a basic algebraic structure. It is a set equipped with two binary operations, addition and multiplication, that give it an abelian group structure. In addition, it is closed under multiplication and has a multiplicative identity element (zero). If every nonzero element in the ring has an additive inverse, then it is a field. This class of rings is important in number theory and algebraic geometry, and many other mathematical problems can be solved by studying them.

Other types of rings exist: rings of integers, polynomials in one and two variables, square real matrices, and rings of functions on finite-dimensional spaces. The study of these rings is a mainstay of topology and mathematical analysis.

The word ring is also often used in figurative senses, referring to the quality that something, such as a statement or discussion, seems to have. It can be said that something has a certain ring to it, or that someone’s claim “has the ring of truth.”

In some sports leagues in America, teams are awarded a ring if they win the championship game or series. The ring is worn by the team members and their coaches and is usually made of precious metal, or at least gold or silver. A ring is a symbol of success that can help a team feel even more proud of their accomplishment.

People also wear rings for personal reasons. A ring may represent love or commitment, an anniversary or special occasion, a memorial, or even just a fashion accessory. Traditionally, the ring was worn on the left hand, but in modern times it is often worn on any finger.

A ring can be difficult to size accurately, especially for men who are unfamiliar with measuring their hands. There are a few different ways to do this, but the most reliable is to ask a friend or relative who already knows her ring size. It is also possible to measure the finger with a string or similar item and take it to a jeweler to get a more precise ring size. Rings are also commonly presented to players of winning teams in professional American sports leagues and college tournaments. These are typically a combination of gold and silver, and are usually engraved with the team’s name and year of victory. They are generally larger than the regular championship trophies, and can be quite expensive. Some rings are worn only by the winning players, while others are shared among the team members. For example, in baseball, the ring is given to all members of the World Series-winning team.