Rings have served as essential pieces of jewelry for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians wore scarab rings carved from stones or made of twisted wire. Greeks and Romans used rings as talismans and for social status.
These days, rings play roles in various situations and come in multiple designs. We’ve organized the rings on our list by their significance and style.
6 Types of Rings By Significance
Though we wear some rings just for fashion, others have associated meanings. They could mark a special occasion or hold a notable spot in our hearts. Here are six types of rings organized by significance.
People use promise rings to indicate a monogamous commitment to another person. In many cases, promise rings act as a precursor to engagement rings. But sometimes, they may double as engagement rings.
Women traditionally receive engagement rings from their fiances. The rings signify the future spouse’s commitment to marriage. They usually feature diamonds, but some engagement rings come with other stones.
Married men and women wear wedding rings on their left ring finger to symbolize their married status. The rings can be plain metal bands or have engravings or decorations. Women usually wear a bridal set, including the wedding and engagement rings.
It’s not unusual for spouses to gift one another on their anniversary. Anniversary rings are typical examples of such gifts. Couples can choose rings to match their bridal set, or they may decide to switch things up entirely.
Birthstone rings hold a person’s birthstone. Each person’s birthstone corresponds to their birth month, and wearing your birthstone is believed to bring luck and protection. Here’s a list of the months and their birthstones.
- January: garnet
- February: amethyst
- March: aquamarine and bloodstone
- April: diamond
- May: emerald
- June: pearl, alexandrite, and moonstone
- July: ruby
- August: peridot, sardonyx, and spinel
- September: sapphire
- October: opal and tourmaline
- November: topaz and citrine
- December: tanzanite, zircon, and turquoise
Mothers and grandmothers wear mother’s rings. They hold the birthstones of all the children and grandchildren. Sometimes, they may have their names engraved next to the stones.
23 Different Styles of Rings
Rings don’t come in the same shape and size. Some rings are dainty and thin, while others are chunkier. Some feature gemstones, while others are plain. Here are the 23 different styles of rings available.
Claddagh rings are of Irish origin and feature a crowned heart between clasped hands. The heart represents love, the hands represent friendship, and the crown represents loyalty. This ring connotes different things depending on how it’s worn. The wearer is:
- Engaged if the ring is on the left hand with the heart facing the fingertips
- Married if the ring is on the left hand with the heart facing the wrist
- Single and searching for love if the ring is on the right hand with the heart facing the fingertips
- In a relationship if the ring is on the right hand with the heart facing the wrist
Wire rings are made of coiled metal wire with gemstones or beads attached. You can make one yourself at home using wire, pliers, and any gemstone or bead of your choice. The most common wire options are copper, glass, or sterling silver.
Signet rings are metal bands with a flattened top, usually bearing the symbol or monogram of an individual. The wearers press the rings into hot wax to seal important documents. Nowadays, they’re popular because of their classy style.
Three-stone rings feature three large stones. These gemstones could all be the same kind, or they could be different, featuring a certain color symmetry. For instance, one ring could have only diamonds, and another could have diamonds and sapphires.
Stacked rings are an excellent way to show off your unique style. They’re usually thin metal bands stacked one above the other on a finger. They come in multiple designs, some more embellished than others. You can combine them with other statement rings or choose to wear them alone.
Mood rings feature liquid crystals which change colors based on body temperature. The body’s nervous system maintains body temperature, and the temperature often relates to mood. When you’re happy, you become warmer, and your temperature lowers when you’re stressed or angry.
These rings are made of plain metal circles of uniform width. Bands can either be unadorned or be engraved with intricate designs and gemstones. They’re popular wedding ring options, but you can also wear them for other purposes.
If you’re looking for a flashier band, try an eternity band. Eternity bands have uniform widths all around but are embellished with identical gemstones. You can use one as an engagement or anniversary ring for your spouse.
Looking for something dramatic? Then cocktail rings are for you. These rings are fashionable, featuring elaborate patterns and brightly colored gemstones like morganite or blue diamonds. They’re better suited for special events, where bold accessories fit right in.
Gimmel rings have two or three hoops you can loop together to form a single ring. In 16th and 17th century England and Germany, they were commonly worn as betrothal rings. The bride-to-be would wear one hoop, the future groom another, and if there was a third, it went to a witness. On the wedding day, these hoops were put together and used as a wedding ring for the bride.
Men usually wear nugget rings, but women can also wear them. They feature rough, rocky textures, similar to a raw chunk of precious metals. You can find them made with plain metals only, but some designs feature gemstones set in the ring.
Puzzle rings will serve you well if you want to combine your jewelry with brainy amusement. These rings are made of multiple interlocked hooks which collapse together to form a single ring.
Estate rings are rings that once belonged to another person. They’re usually less than 30 years old. Once they hit 30, jewelers will refer to them as vintage rings.
Vintage rings are preowned rings older than 30 years. They’re usually manufactured between the 1920s and 1980s and will suit you if you’re looking for unique designs with a story behind them.
Once a ring is older than 100 years, it becomes an antique. Antique pieces are usually rare, and their age indicates the wealth of history behind them. They’re also categorized using eras like “Georgian,” “Victorian,” and “Edwardian.”
Also known as meditative or worry rings, spinner rings are commonly used as stress relievers. They come with two bands. One band remains stationary while the one on the inside spins. You can wear this ring and use the spinning as a helpful fidget to cope with tense situations.
Halo rings are popular engagement ring designs. A single gemstone sits in the center, surrounded by a “halo” of smaller gems.
Uncomplicated and chic, solitaire rings are made of a simple band with a single stone. The center stone is usually a diamond. They’re also standard engagement ring designs and are a brilliant choice if you want to adequately show off your center stone.
Semi-mount rings are any ring designs that have all other stones in place except the center stone. For this type of ring, you can choose any gemstone to fill in based on preference.
Pavé design is famously used in engagement rings. The rings are designed with gemstones around the metal. These gemstones are set so closely together that it looks like no metal holds them in place on the ring’s surface.
Most rings are made with one solid band of metal. But not flexible rings. These rings come with lots of small interlocked metal rings. They’re bendable and adapt easily if you have pain and swelling in your fingers.
As you may have guessed from the name, cluster rings come with a cluster of gemstones. These rings can have a large center stone with smaller stones around it, or they could have stones of the same size.
Fashion rings are the icing on the cake for any outfit. You can pick a simple minimalist style for casual chicness or choose something bolder to stand out. These rings are styling pieces that help to tie your outfit together.
3 Types of Rings By Finger
One final classification for rings is the finger you can wear them on. Here are three different ring types by the fingers they stay on.
Thumb rings are worn on the thumb. Historically, these rings were associated with archery in the Middle East (especially the Ottoman Empire) and Asia. They were made of leather, bone, metals, ceramics, or wood and protected the thumb while the wearer drew the bow string. Nowadays, thumb rings are versatile ways to show off your bold style.
Instead of wearing them low on your finger, you wear knuckle rings above your finger’s middle joint. They are versatile and chic and you can pair them with other rings for a nice dynamic.
Pinky rings go on your little finger. Though they’re popularly associated with men, women can also wear them.
Frequently Asked Questions About Types of Rings
Here are our answers to some popular questions people ask about ring styles and types.
What are thick rings called?
Rings with extra thick bands are called cigar rings. They are bold and pair well with smaller rings. You can also wear them alone as a stand-out piece.
What does a pinky ring mean?
Pinky rings can mean various things depending on who’s wearing them. Some people view them as status symbols.
For example, Prince Charles always wears a ring on his left little finger. Though his signet ring doesn’t serve the same document signing purposes, it represents his lineage and indicates his status.
Still, others wear pinky rings as a show of individuality. The rings have no direct connection to their status or social standing. And the same can apply to you. You don’t need a particular reason to wear a pinky ring.
Can a fashion ring be an engagement ring?
Yes, it certainly can. Though we have expectations of what an engagement ring can look like, from the metal to the gemstone, you can use whatever ring you want as an engagement ring.
What matters is that your lover is happy with it and the ring signifies your commitment to marriage.
Adorn Your Fingers
We’ve covered over 30 types of rings. Now, we have to ask, what’s your favorite? We love fashion rings for their versatility and enjoy the adventure of stacking various rings on our fingers.
Whatever your choice, we hope you grab the opportunity to flaunt your style with some lovely rings.
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