What do rings on different fingers mean? Most guys don’t have a lot of experience with the finer points of ring-wearing etiquette.

That’s not a problem if you’re reading this. You’re about to learn more in 5 minutes than 95% of the population knows about rings.

There are many traditions regarding jewelry in general and rings in particular.
Rings allow you to make a statement without saying a word.

In this article, you’ll find what rings on different fingers mean:

  • Is It OK For Men To Wear Rings?
  • First – Right Hand vs. Left Hand
  • Finger #1 What Do Rings On Pinky Fingers Mean?
  • Finger #2 What Do Rings On Ring Fingers Mean?
  • Finger #3 What Do Rings On Middle Fingers Mean?
  • Finger #4 What Do Rings On Index Fingers Mean?
  • Finger #5 What Do Rings On Thumbs Mean?

Is It OK For Men To Wear Rings?

They can send the message you’re not available (married), that you attended the Naval Academy ( yes, I see your ring, Annapolis man ? ). Or a message that you’re from a culture not afraid to display wealth on the hands (think bling bling)

Now be aware – wearing a signature ring is not a statement everyone will get.

Like most fashion choices, they’re for the people who notice. And being part of the elite club that “gets it” is part of the fun.

So if you’re someone who’s considering wearing a ring purely for the style of it (rather than just a wedding band), here are a few of the traditional associations for rings on fingers.

First – Right Hand vs. Left Hand

There aren’t any steadfast rules about which hand you wear your ring (s) on for the most part. What do rings on different fingers mean on the different hands?

Engagement and wedding rings are exceptions. There are many specific cultural traditions. But at the end of the day, there are so many cultural traditions that it becomes an anything-goes situation.

For example, most American men will wear their wedding band on their left ring finger. But a man married in an Eastern Orthodox church could end up using the right hand instead. I do this – watch my videos, and you’ll see! And engagement rings are rare enough on men already that there is no set tradition.

Some schools or organizations may have rules about how to wear their rings (in which case they’ll tell you). But most will leave it up to their members.

So for pretty much any ring, don’t worry about right-hand vs. left-hand rules. As far as symbolism goes, the right hand represents the “physical” hand; the active, dominant one that makes most of your gestures. The left is thought of as the “mental” hand, representing your character and beliefs.

Those are based, unsurprisingly, on a right-hander’s view of the world. A left-handed man might personally find it appropriate to reverse the whole thing. We’re talking about some very general concepts here — don’t be afraid to go your way with jewelry.

Finger #1 What Do Rings On Pinky Fingers Mean?

This finger is often the first choice for a man who wants to wear a “statement” ring.

Pinky rings have a couple of advantages. They don’t have religious or cultural associations in most cultures (unlike the ring finger). And, like rings on the fourth finger, they don’t touch or interfere with the index/pointer finger at all.

It also isolates the ring from your body a bit, making it more of an eye-popping statement. As a result, pinky rings tend to be among the “busiest” or flashiest of designs. It’s where you wear things when you want attention paid to them.

People who like astrological or palmistry-related symbolism will associate the little finger with intelligence and persuasion. It represents Mercury, which was (for obvious reasons) related to the element of mercury. So you’re not going to have a ring made of the relevant metal here. Mercury is liquid at room temperature and highly toxic to humans.

Finger #2 What Do Rings On Ring Fingers Mean?

Wedding Ring

In the US and much of North & South America, the ring finger is most commonly associated with wedding symbolism. A band on the right fourth finger indicates engagement, while a band on the left fourth finger indicates marriage.

That said, nearly all men opt for a simple gold or silver band for their wedding/engagement rings. A large ring with a jewel or a three-dimensional design on it is less likely to represent your marital status.

That’s not to say that people don’t wear some bizarre and artistic things as wedding bands. A distinctively decorative ring on the fourth finger probably won’t be assumed to be a wedding or engagement ring. While a plain metal band or one with minor, same-tone etchings or designs probably will be.

Symbolically, the ring finger is associated with Earth’s moon, creativity, and beauty. As well as its apparent associations with romantic relationships. The moon’s metal is silver, making silver rings a natural choice for non-wedding-related rings worn on the fourth finger.

Finger #3 What Do Rings On Middle Fingers Mean?

Apart from the obvious hand gesture, the middle finger is your largest, boldest finger.
Rings worn on the middle finger are surprisingly uncommon. In part, because it’s adjacent to the index finger, and anything bulky can be a hindrance to delicate manual tasks. It’s best to keep things small and simple if you’re wearing them on your middle finger.

That said, a lot of first-time ring-wearers might feel more comfortable with the middle finger. Purely because it feels so central, sturdy, and frankly, “manly.”

Because of its central location, the middle finger symbolizes balance and responsibility and is associated with Saturn. Since Saturn’s metal is lead, simple gray metals like steel are typical to middle finger choices.

Finger #4 What Do Rings On Index Fingers Mean?

men's gold ring

There’s an instinct to keep this finger clear since we use it more than any other digit (except the thumb). But a ring on the finger doesn’t interfere with it as much as one on the finger next to it.

If you go back hundreds of years, the index finger was the most common location for a man’s ring. Generally a signet or a crest; in some parts of Europe, people below a certain rank were forbidden from wearing rings. They denoted specific family status and were reserved for the elite.

That makes the index finger a good place for things like class rings, fraternal rings, or family and membership crests. Although many men (especially younger, unmarried men) opt for the ring finger out of habit instead.

Anything you want to use frequently and emphatically in your gestures can go on the index finger. It’s not as isolated as something on the outer digits (thumb and pinky). But its prominence in our essential manual dexterity makes it noticeable.

The astrological association for the pointer finger is Jupiter, which symbolizes power, leadership, and authority. The metal association is tin, which you won’t find many of those rings. However, bright silver tones are standard for the index finger.

Finger #5 What Do Rings On Thumbs Mean?

Thumb rings have a slightly outlandish feel to people from traditional North American culture, but they’re reasonably common worldwide.

In most societies, a thumb ring on a man is a sign of wealth or influence, and they tend to be broad or bulky to reflect that (also to fit comfortably on the thumb, of course).

A thumb ring is also often the natural choice for men who want to wear multiple rings on the same hand since it creates distance from the others. A wedding band plus a pinky or middle finger ring can get quite crowded, both visually and physically, whereas a thumb ring gives everything some space.

Thumb gestures are associated with interaction and friendship (think “thumbs up”).
Wear a ring that you want people to like — big and chunky is fine, but nothing incredibly gaudy or expensive-looking. It’s already going to be bigger than most rings, so if the design is extravagant as well, it just becomes this massive anchor dragging your hand down. Keep it bold but simple.

The thumb doesn’t have an astrological association. Still, in classic mythology (and pre-scientific medicine), it was believed to be an indicator of character: solid and straight thumbs meant an authoritative personality. In contrast, crooked ones showed wickedness or dishonesty.

How Many Rings Can a Man Wear On His Hand?

What’s the maximum number of rings a guy should wear?

It’ll depend on the rings. Generally, you won’t wear more than one on any given finger, but then you’ll run into things like clusters of four or five wire-thin bands that are worn together by design.

But assuming only one ring per finger, two or three spread out across both hands, is usually a safe max. Even that’s going to be very striking — go too much beyond that, and you’re just a caricature.

Often, you’re best off with a single bold “statement” ring on one hand and nothing else, or nothing more than a plain wedding/engagement band if it’s relevant.

Quality matters more than quantity, at the end of the day — no matter what finger you’re displaying your rings on.

The post Rings & Finger Symbolism | Which Finger Should You Wear a Ring On appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Mark McKee
Title: Rings & Finger Symbolism | Which Finger Should You Wear a Ring On
Sourced From: www.realmenrealstyle.com/ring-finger-meaning/
Published Date: Thu, 08 Jul 2021 16:57:00 +0000