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.
💎 You should know: We use affiliate links throughout our site. This means we may earn a cent or two when you make a purchase on our site. Thanks for adding to our shine.
How many different types of rings are there? ›
From simple cocktail rings to wear on special occasions to the always important engagement rings and wedding sets, rings have been around for centuries and there are more than 30 different versions of rings, the most popular piece of jewelry to be worn by both men and women.What are the 3 types of rings? ›
- ring (noun): a small, round, metal band that you wear on your finger.
- involved with: connected to.
- engagement ring (noun): a ring that a man gives to a woman when they decide to marry.
- wedding ring (noun): a ring that a married person wears.
- suffering (noun): a bad and painful feeling.
- Tap the three lines on the top left of the screen.
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A promise ring, sometimes known as a pre-engagement ring, is given in a relationship to signify commitment. Whilst for many young couples a promise ring means a vow of an engagement ring to come, others may simply use it to show their loyalty and devotion to their partner.How many rings do you give a girl? ›
One such tradition relates to the placement of wedding and engagement rings on the bride's ring finger. It's customary for brides to receive two rings. An engagement band before the wedding, and a wedding ring during the ceremony. Your first ring is a promise of marriage.What are the V shaped rings called? ›
A wishbone ring is a piece of jewellery featuring a 'V' shape. Wishbone rings get their name because their shape is similar to the wishbone in a chicken or turkey.What does 3 diamonds on a ring mean? ›
Traditionally, the three stones in a three stone ring tell the story of a couple's past, present, and future together. The ring's center stone, usually the largest in the trio, symbolizes the couple's present, while the ring's side stones represent their past and future.What is a thick ring called? ›
Super-thick band rings, also known as cigar rings, are becoming ultra popular. They have a very noticeable effect on their own of course, but they also look unexpectedly stylish as hell stacked with a few thinner rings around them.What is a keeper ring? ›
In jewelry, a keeper ring is a close fitting ring of simple design which is worn on the finger to prevent another – more valuable – ring from sliding off that finger.What is a classic ring? ›
Classic engagement rings feature simple details with a traditional band and metal type. Many ring styles fit under this category- such as solitaire and three stone engagement rings- but it is a ring's finer details that really make a ring classic.
How do you ask a girl what ring she likes? ›
Ask her. If you're at a complete loss, there's nothing wrong with asking her what she wants for her engagement ring. You can approach it more casually by simply asking her about different components at different times, checking off metal, diamond cut, et cetera, one at a time.Is my ring real? ›
Put the ring's gemstones in front of your mouth and breathe on it until they fog up. Time how long it takes the diamonds in question to clear up. If the gems clear up after a few seconds, more likely it's a real diamond ring. If it stays fogged up for over three seconds, it's a fake diamond ring.What is an open ring called? ›
A cathedral is a specific ring style that features arches of metal extending up from the top of the shank, creating an open space. These arches are called the cathedrals. There are various styles and thicknesses of cathedral arches.What kind of jewelry is trending for 2022? ›
Pearlcore isn't slowing down for the winter, and mixed-pearl pieces will be especially popular for the season ahead. “This season, you'll definitely see me rocking colorful enamel pieces,” says Maguire, who names candy-hued jewelry as a must-know winter 2022 jewelry trend.What is the most popular diamond shape in 2022? ›
- Rounds. Round cut engagement rings are classic and continue to be the most popular choice amongst brides. ...
- Ovals. Ovals have been wildly popular in recent years. ...
- Cushion Cut. ...
- Antique cuts (old mines and old euros)
Without a doubt, five stone rings are the perfect five year anniversary gift, since you could say that each of the diamonds represents one of the first five years of marital bliss.Do you kneel for a promise ring? ›
Traditionally, no. You don't have to drop the knee when presenting a promise ring, as it's not quite as significant as an engagement. Getting down on one knee might also be confusing for your partner if they take it as a marriage proposal. However, that doesn't mean you can't make it special.What finger do I wear a promise ring on? ›
Promise rings can be worn on any finger. Popular options are the ring finger or the middle finger of the left hand or the middle or fourth finger on the right hand. Some people also wear a promise ring on a chain around their neck.Is there an age limit for promise rings? ›
Your age doesn't matter. If you have to ask other people if it's premature to give a promise ring, then YES!How many rings is too many wear? ›
The rule of thumb is to pair similar stacking rings with each other. There's no rule as to how many rings to wear on each hand (or even each finger), but the general guideline is two to three shared between both hands.
What does it mean when a girl wears a ring on her left ring finger? ›
A ring worn on the left ring finger can symbolize: Marital status - In most Western countries, a married person wears a wedding ring on the left ring finger. Many people think the origin of this custom stems from an ancient Roman belief that a vein travels directly from the left ring finger to the heart.When a man gives you a ring What does it mean? ›
"Many couples give or wear promise rings specifically to signify a future engagement, while others do so as more of a general symbol of devotion to one another."What's a wishbone ring? ›
What is a wishbone ring? Wishbone rings are simple and stunning with a 'V-shape' on the top of the band – which resembles the wishbone typically found in poultry – hence where the piece derived its name. They're typically worn as wedding rings or given to a loved one on a special occasion.Are wishbone rings lucky? ›
The act of giving a wishbone ring, was believe to bring two people closer together. Aside from love, a wishbone still represents luck for many. Giving someone jewellery that looks like an actual wishbone is common for birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions.What are Chevron rings? ›
The chevron ring (also known as a wish bone ring) has a classic inverted V shape. This V symbol has been used for thousands of years and dates back to 1800 BCE. It is a common sign used in heraldry. It also features on military and police badges and uniforms, representing the length of service given.What do Russian rings meaning? ›
Russian Wedding Rings, also known as Triple rolling rings, are three interlocking bands of rose, white, and yellow gold, worn on the right hand. Each band is much thinner than normal bands. The three bands symbolize the Holy Trinity of Christian orthodox religion, or the past, present, and future of the couple.What is the most popular style of engagement ring? ›
Most Popular Shape of Engagement Ring: Round. According to The Knot 2021 Jewelry & Engagement Study, the most popular engagement ring shape is a round-cut center stone. We found that 41% of respondents have this style, and it's not a new trend—rounds have been the most popular engagement ring shape for quite some time.What does Trinity ring mean? ›
The three bands depict fidelity, friendship and love, which has made Trinity an enduring symbol of relationships. Since the original ring and bracelet, the collection has grown to incorporate earrings, necklaces and, most recently, pavé diamonds and coloured stones, pearls and a trio of gold hearts.What do you call a ring that doesn't close? ›
Straight ring shank
A straight ring shank is just as it sounds. The band of the ring is straight and doesn't taper off or split.
A plain metal ring is made from precious metal without gemstones. Men often choose plain precious metal rings for their wedding rings.
What is a fashion ring? ›
fash·ion ring | ˈfa-shən riŋ noun. A ring worn for decorative, rather than symbolic, purposes. Jewelry is often associated with milestones and life events - marriage, anniversaries, engagement.What is a gypsy ring? ›
Unusual Engagement Rings: Gypsy Rings
The term gypsy ring refers to the setting of the stone: mounted flush with the metal. It was also common for symbols like crescent moons and stars to be carved into gipsy rings, adding femininity to what might otherwise be seen as a more masculine setting.
Most commonly, a single ring was worn on the pinky finger to indicate a man's wealth and status. Even today, men who wear pinky rings intend to make a statement about their wealth and prosperity. With no other rings on the hand, a pinky ring can show off a man's riches — or draw attention to its owner.What does a buckle ring mean? ›
Description. Today, as it was in the Victorian Era, the buckle ring symbolizes the sentimental, binding love between the giver and the wearer of the ring. The interlocking belt and the buckle represents how perfectly the suitors are attuned to one another.Are diamond rings going out of style? ›
No. Halos are second in popularity only to the solitaire diamond engagement ring. While "tacky" remains largely a matter of personal opinion, it's safe to say halos have been in style for centuries, and they're not going out of style anytime soon.Will oval rings go out of style? ›
Round brilliant diamonds and oval shaped diamonds were instant classics right from the start. They both provide a timeless look that is perennially popular. Neither the round nor the oval diamond will ever go out of style.Who picks out engagement ring? ›
Traditionally, the groom picks out the ring for his bride, one of the few choices he has to make for the wedding. However, modern bridezillas are trying to take control of this, too, with an increasing number of women choosing their engagement ring.What if she doesn't like the engagement ring? ›
Exchange or Return It
If your partner purchased the ring new, head back to the jeweler together. You could keep the center stone and have it changed to a different setting, or spend the afternoon trying on rings together until you find a completely new style that you both love.
Ask and Listen
A question as basic as "What kind of jewelry do you like?" can go a long way. With so much out there (think: silver, platinum, gold) she'll be touched that you want to be familiar with her taste.
If you see 925 engraved on the ring, that means it's a sterling silver setting. Usually, engagement rings with a larger center diamond won't be set in sterling silver because it's too soft. And if you see a stamp that says "CZ," you're looking at a cubic zirconia stone, rather than a real diamond.
What are fake diamonds called? ›
Simulated diamonds are also known as diamond simulants and include things like cubic zirconia (CZ), moissanite, and YAG. They can also include some natural clear gemstones like white sapphire, white zircon or even clear quartz.What does 925 mean on a ring is it real? ›
Jewelry considered "fine silver" must contain at least 92.5% pure silver. The remaining 7.5% is typically made up of copper and nickel. A piece of genuine sterling silver will have the words "sterling" or "925" stamped or otherwise marked on it.What were poison rings used for? ›
The poison ring was used either to slip poison into an enemy's food or drink, or to facilitate the suicide of the wearer in order to preclude capture or torture.What holds diamonds in a ring? ›
Prong: These are the small metal pieces that hold the gemstone in place. Solitaire diamonds often have 4 to 6 prongs. The more prongs you have, the more secure your stone is.How many rings are there in a relationship? ›
We take a look at the four main types: promise rings, eternity rings, engagement rings and wedding rings.What are thick rings called? ›
Super-thick band rings, also known as cigar rings, are becoming ultra popular. They have a very noticeable effect on their own of course, but they also look unexpectedly stylish as hell stacked with a few thinner rings around them.What is an open ring called? ›
A cathedral is a specific ring style that features arches of metal extending up from the top of the shank, creating an open space. These arches are called the cathedrals. There are various styles and thicknesses of cathedral arches.What do you call rings that don't close? ›
Straight ring shank
A straight ring shank is just as it sounds. The band of the ring is straight and doesn't taper off or split.
What finger is a promise ring worn on? A promise ring can be worn on the ring finger of either hand. If it is given and accepted as a symbol of future commitment, it is typically worn on the left hand.What is it called when a woman buys herself a ring? ›
Another term used for rings women purchase themselves is the 'non-engagement ring. ' Women are celebrating singledom and self love more than ever before. A non-engagement ring may feature a diamond or birthstone, and can be worn on any finger.
What does it mean when a girl wears a ring on her left ring finger? ›
A ring worn on the left ring finger can symbolize: Marital status - In most Western countries, a married person wears a wedding ring on the left ring finger. Many people think the origin of this custom stems from an ancient Roman belief that a vein travels directly from the left ring finger to the heart.What is a fashion ring? ›
fash·ion ring | ˈfa-shən riŋ noun. A ring worn for decorative, rather than symbolic, purposes. Jewelry is often associated with milestones and life events - marriage, anniversaries, engagement.What holds a gem in a ring? ›
Prong: These are the small metal pieces that hold the gemstone in place. Solitaire diamonds often have 4 to 6 prongs. The more prongs you have, the more secure your stone is.What do rings mean on men? ›
The left ring finger symbolizes marriage and engagement for men. In North and South America, men usually put the left ring finger for marriage and the right ring finger for engagement. Before medical science evolved, people thought there is a direct vein from the ring finger to the heart.What were poison rings used for? ›
The poison ring was used either to slip poison into an enemy's food or drink, or to facilitate the suicide of the wearer in order to preclude capture or torture.What is the head of a ring called? ›
The head, sometimes called a crown by jewelers, refers to the part of the setting that holds the center stone, including the prongs. There are different types of prongs and fancy shapes can take unique prongs to help them best keep the stone secure.What is a ring called without a stone? ›
A plain metal ring is made from precious metal without gemstones. Men often choose plain precious metal rings for their wedding rings.What does 5 diamonds on a ring mean? ›
Without a doubt, five stone rings are the perfect five year anniversary gift, since you could say that each of the diamonds represents one of the first five years of marital bliss.What are side diamonds called? ›
Any Diamonds in the ring that are not the center large Diamond are called Side Stones or Accent Stones. Prongs make up most of the Head. They go from the very tips of the points, all the way down to the base and come up on the sides of the stone, wrap over the top and hold them in place.What is the bridge under a ring called? ›
The gallery rail is essentially a bar that sits about midway between the top of the stone and the ring rail or “bridge” and helps keep the center stone and side stone prongs secure. Some people choose to set diamonds on the gallery rails for a little extra sparkle.