Rings & Finger Symbolism | Which Finger Should You Wear a Ring On (2022)

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?
Rings & Finger Symbolism | Which Finger Should You Wear a Ring On (1)

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.

(Video) On what FINGER should you wear a RING? (RING & FINGER SYMBOLISM)

First – Right Hand vs. Left Hand

Rings & Finger Symbolism | Which Finger Should You Wear a Ring On (2)

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.

(Video) Rings & Their Meaning, Symbolism For Men - What Finger(s) To Wear A Ring On

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?

Rings & Finger Symbolism | Which Finger Should You Wear a Ring On (3)

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.

Also read:

  • What Is A Signet Ring And Can You Wear One?
  • 10 Dining Etiquette Rules Every Man Must Know
  • Ultimate Guide to Wedding Attire For Men
  • How to Cut Your Nails Properly
  • Dressing Sharp and Casual for the Men in Their 30s
  • ULTIMATE GUIDE To Men's Hair Types
(Video) Rings & Finger Symbolism (Which Finger Should You Wear A Ring On?) / Rings and Meanings

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?

Rings & Finger Symbolism | Which Finger Should You Wear a Ring On (10)

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.

(Video) Rings & Finger Symbolism | Which Finger Should You Wear a Ring On | Rings & Meanings

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.

(Video) The Rings You Wear - Your Middle Finger

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

Want to learn more about rings and their meanings? Click here to discover the secret world of signet rings.

Also read:

  • What Is A Signet Ring And Can You Wear One?
  • 10 Dining Etiquette Rules Every Man Must Know
  • Ultimate Guide to Wedding Attire For Men
  • How to Cut Your Nails Properly
  • Dressing Sharp and Casual for the Men in Their 30s
  • ULTIMATE GUIDE To Men's Hair Types

FAQs

How many rings should you wear on each finger? ›

There is no definitive answer to this question, but as a general rule, you should not wear more than three rings on any one finger. If you're wearing more than that, it's likely going to look busy and cluttered.

What does a ring on the ring finger symbolize? ›

In the U.S., the ring finger is traditionally considered to be the finger between your pinkie and middle finger (aka your fourth finger) on your left hand. Wearing a ring on your ring finger represents your relationship status, whether that be engagement, marriage, or a long-term monogamous relationship.

What finger should you wear a ring on? ›

"Today, wedding rings are most commonly worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. But some countries including India, Germany, Spain, Norway, and Russia traditionally wear their wedding rings on their right hand." Overall, it seems cultural traditions and norms set the standard for this custom.

Can I wear a ring on my right ring finger? ›

After the wedding ceremony the engagement ring can be changed to the ring finger on the right hand and can then worn in front of the wedding ring. Of course, there are no rules for wearing engagement rings. Whatever hand the woman prefers to wear the engagement ring – as a symbol of love it is valid on both hands!

How many rings can you wear at once? ›

How Many Rings Should You Wear? While there isn't a right or wrong answer with how many rings you should wear, a generally safe maximum is to have two or three shared between your two hands.

Can you wear 2 rings on one finger? ›

It's generally not a good idea to wear multiple rings at once if they are really tight on your fingers. This can cause circulation issues, so it's best to leave them off. If more than one ring is very loose on you, you may be able to tighten the bands by adding some extra material or cutting some material out.

What does a ring mean spiritually? ›

It symbolizes opportunities that come with your efforts. Same as the plant itself, you like spiritual growth.

What does a ring on left middle finger mean? ›

A ring worn on the left middle finger doesn't necessarily stand for anything. However, since the middle finger is central to the hand and is the longest finger, a ring on this digit can symbolize power and responsibility, if you wish.

What does it mean when a woman wears a black ring? ›

Black can signify power, courage, or strength, as well as show conviction or belief. In relation to marriage, a black ring can symbolize the power of love. Wearing black rings can be a way for a couple to show that they are dedicated to their marriage and that they believe in the strength of their union above all else.

How do you use your ring finger for energy? ›

The ring finger holds the energy of Earth in the body. Sealing the ring finger to the thumb, which is the energy of Fire, nourishes and amplifies the energy of Earth within the body. So simply push the ring fingers of both hands with gentle pressure against the thumbs. Extend the other three fingers out like branches.

What does it mean when a woman wears a ring on her right middle finger? ›

According to legend (and some news reports) over the years, women buy them for themselves as personal declarations of independence and a celebration of single life. The right-hand ring is simply just a celebration of you. Also called "dress" or "cocktail" rings, the ring — and its symbolism — dates back to the 1920s.

What does a pinky ring mean on a woman? ›

What does a Pinky Finger Ring Mean for single women? The Significance Of A Woman's Ring on the pinky finger it can also symbolize self-love, whether you are in a relationship or not.

Does wearing a ring on your right hand mean anything? ›

Rings that are worn on the right ring finger are often associated with ideas of love and relationships, creativity, beauty, and romance. Sometimes men give their wives rings like eternity rings as a way to commence a certain milestone in the marriage, and wives often will wear it on the right ring finger as well.

What does a black ring on right hand mean? ›

A black ring worn on the middle finger of the right hand is an infrequently used symbol of asexuality.

What does a black ring on the middle finger mean? ›

Description. English: A black ring is a symbol of asexuality and is most commonly worn on the right middle finger.

Why we should not wear ring in thumb? ›

In his book "Mystic's Musings", Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has warned women to never wear any metal rings on their thumbs as it "will lead to attracting occult forms".

What finger do you wear 2 rings on? ›

Thumb and middle finger. Thumb and ring finger. Thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger.

How many rings should I wear at a time? ›

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 do two rings symbolize? ›

It was popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries for men to wear two rings on their pinky finger to show they were married. One would be a wedding ring and the other a signet ring. Wearing rings on the left or right pinky could also be associated with the Mafia.

How do you layer a ring? ›

How To Stack Rings: 5 Easy Tips For The Minimalist Or Maximalist

Is it good to wear gold ring in middle finger? ›

If you are facing issues related to name, fame, or status, then you should wear gold on your middle finger. If you cannot concentrate and get distracted easily, you should wear gold on your index finger.

What does a ring symbolize in the Bible? ›

Abraham's servant gave Rebekah a nose ring to claim her as Isaac's bride (Genesis 24:22). Joseph received a signet ring from Pharoah as a symbol of authority (Genesis 41:42). Historians generally agree that Egyptians started the custom of using wedding bands for the purpose of marriage.

What fingers mean spiritually? ›

Your index finger represents your sense of Self; your middle, ring and little finger represent the three gunas, three fundamental energies and their representation within us. Middle finger represents sattva, ring finger represents rajas and little finger represents tamas.

What does the pinky finger mean spiritually? ›

The pinky represents ending and the ability to finish what you started and end what is not serving you anymore. Connected to the planet Mercury. ♕ Ring finger: To show a symbol of love, freedom, and trust.

What finger do you wear a divorce ring on? ›

It will also serve to remind you that you are making a fresh start. However, some people prefer to wear their divorce rings on their middle finger so that it can't be mistaken for a wedding ring, and others prefer wearing it on the ring finger of their right hand.

Why do cops wear black wedding rings? ›

By Wearing a black wedding ring, whether it's a ring made from silicone, carbon fiber, or something else, is a way for cops to minimize unwanted attention. It sends a signal to potential thieves that there's nothing of value there to warrant an unexpected attack.

Who wears pinky rings? ›

In the United States, many wealthy Americans follow the British tradition of wearing a signet ring or pinky ring on their left hand. In the United States, the pinky ring is also associated with criminal activity. American Mafias wear pinky rings, said to provide an asset to their accomplice after their death.

What does a rubber wedding ring mean? ›

The name says it all. They're rubber bands that come in men's and women's styles and are worn to represent a spouse's union. "Silicone wedding rings are a great alternative to the traditional metal wedding band," says Carrie Seifert of QALO.

What organ does each finger represent? ›

The thumb represents the brain, the index finger represents the liver/gall bladder. The middle finger represents heart, the ring finger represents hormones and the little finger or pinky represents digestion.

What does thumb touching middle finger mean? ›

In this gesture, the thumb sometimes touches the middle finger. The insult of this is equivalent to the finger. In Iranian culture, a similar gesture is used to represent "Dirt on your head", a verbal insult that is often used, suggesting the death and subsequent burial of the receiver.

Is it good to wear snake ring? ›

The ring is meant to invigorate your spirituality & bring you closer towards liberation. Wearing a metal ring, especially made of copper, by a seeker on the ring finger stabilizes the body & provides the fundamental support for sadhana or spiritual practices.

Is it proper to wear your wedding ring after your spouse dies? ›

A common option when deciding what to do with your wedding ring after your spouse's death is to continue to wear it in their honor. For many, it can be a form of comfort to continue wearing your wedding ring. Often that ring is a reminder of the love and memories you shared with your spouse.

Can a single woman wear a ring on her right hand? ›

Although a right-hand ring is appropriate for both the single and married, many single women opt for a stunning right-hand ring because they don't want to postpone a dazzling diamond while they're waiting for Mr. Right. For this reason, right-hand rings are often seen as the battle cry of single and successful women.

Can I wear a ring on my right ring finger men? ›

As a single guy you'll probably want to wear a ring on your right hand, either on the ring finger or pinky finger, but any finger is acceptable. If you like the look of multiple rings, you can wear them on both hands. See advice below about wearing multiple rings.

Why do gangsters wear pinky rings? ›

Grifters were thought to wear such rings, sometimes to provide their associates with a source of funding for their funeral expenses in case of their death, as were made men in the American Mafia.

What does a man wearing a pinky ring mean? ›

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 hand should a woman wear a pinky ring? ›

The typical recommendation for how women should wear a signet ring usually follows a similar principle that covers both genders. It's often worn on the pinkie finger on the non-dominant hand, so, if you're right-handed, the signet ring goes on the left pinkie, and vice versa.

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 finger do you wear silver ring for good luck? ›

One can wear a silver ring on any finger except the index finger. The index finger is representative of the planet Jupiter and its corresponding metal is gold. Traditionally, silver has to be worn on your dominant hand. This helps you temper and refine your actions.

What does it mean if a man wears a ring on his middle finger? ›

Rings & Their Meaning, Symbolism For Men - What Finger(s) To Wear A ...

What does it mean when a man wears a ring on a necklace? ›

Size Issues. After a while, fingers might widen and the ring may just feel snug on the hand. If a man can remove it from his finger, he might put it on a necklace to wear until he can have it resized.

Can I wear a ring on my left ring finger? ›

Your wedding ring finger doesn't have to be on your left hand. While tradition singles out the left ring finger as the ideal option, modern trends allow us to pick and choose how to wear our rings. It's perfectly acceptable to wear your wedding ring or engagement ring on either hand and any finger.

What is a ACE ring? ›

Note for the uninformed: an ace ring is a term for a black ring, usually worn on the right middle finger, that the wearer intends as a symbol of their ace identity.

What does a black ring mean Lgbtq? ›

Ace symbols

The ace ring, a black ring (also known as an ace ring) worn on the middle finger of one's right hand is a way asexual people signify their asexuality.

What finger do you wear 2 rings on? ›

Thumb and middle finger. Thumb and ring finger. Thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger.

Should rings face in or out? ›

There is no right or wrong way to wear it but i think the theory is that wearing the point facing away from you (away from your fingernail) is supposed to mean you are more-open hearted. Wearing the point toward you is supposed to signify selfishness.

How do you wear your wedding band and engagement ring? ›

Traditionally, you wear your engagement ring and wedding ring together on the fourth finger of your left hand. As far as how to stack them, tradition holds that you'll wear the wedding band inside the engagement ring so that it's closer to your heart (aww).

Why does a woman wear a ring on her right-hand? ›

According to legend (and some news reports) over the years, women buy them for themselves as personal declarations of independence and a celebration of single life. The right-hand ring is simply just a celebration of you. Also called "dress" or "cocktail" rings, the ring — and its symbolism — dates back to the 1920s.

What does a ring on the middle finger mean for a woman? ›

Middle finger ring meaning

The middle finger represents beauty, responsibility and self-analysis. It is a little uncommon to find someone wearing a ring on the middle finger. Rings worn on this finger are highly noticeable because they commonly symbolize power, balance and stability.

What does a pinky ring mean on a woman? ›

What does a Pinky Finger Ring Mean for single women? The Significance Of A Woman's Ring on the pinky finger it can also symbolize self-love, whether you are in a relationship or not.

What does it mean when a woman wears a ring on her left index finger? ›

The meaning of the ring. The ring is worn on the left or right hand, the meaning is different. The left hand represents "marriage" and the right represents "be in love".

Why we should not wear ring in thumb? ›

In his book "Mystic's Musings", Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has warned women to never wear any metal rings on their thumbs as it "will lead to attracting occult forms".

Where do I put my ring when single? ›

Typically, a plain gold band goes on the index finger of the right hand. Some brides move the ring to the left ring finger after the ceremony, but some keep it in place on the index finger. If you aren't wearing a plain gold band, you can get away with just about any ring on the right index finger.

How are rings supposed to be worn? ›

In most western countries, the wedding band and associated rings are typically worn on the third finger, or the "ring" finger. Typically, this is done on the left hand. If you're concerned about giving people the wrong impression, but like wearing a ring on your ring finger, wear it on your right hand.

Do you wear your wedding band on top or bottom? ›

Traditionally, wedding bands go on the bottom, just below the engagement ring. The wedding band's placement on the ring finger and closer to the palm is based on the belief that it has a vein directly connected to the heart.

Do you wear wedding ring all the time? ›

There are no hard and fast rules about when and how to wear wedding bands. Nobody ever said that you had to put them on simultaneously. There are many who prefer to keep their engagement ring hidden away most of the time, saving it for important events or when they want to make a more formal appearance.

What is the correct way to wear wedding rings? ›

A: Conventionally, couples wear the wedding band “closest to their heart”, meaning the wedding band is stacked below the engagement ring on the left ring finger. However, some people like to wear their wedding band on top of their engagement ring as a way to secure it on the finger.

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 finger does a widow wear her wedding ring on? ›

The widow wears the ring on the right ring finger while the widower wears the ring on the left little finger. In this manner, the surviving spouse aids in the grieving process by allowing the spouse to express their status as a widowed person.

What does a black ring on wedding finger mean? ›

Black can signify power, courage, or strength, as well as show conviction or belief. In relation to marriage, a black ring can symbolize the power of love. Wearing black rings can be a way for a couple to show that they are dedicated to their marriage and that they believe in the strength of their union above all else.

Videos

1. PLEASE DON'T WEAR RING ON THIS FINGER | Sadhguru | It Will Attract Unwanted Energy
(Ride with Mystic)
2. If You Wear Rings on Different Fingers, It Says a Lot About You
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3. Dangers of Wearing Rings on the Thumb | Sadhguru
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4. Which finger do you wear the ring on? #LetTheSunnahGoForth
(Naseeha Sessions)
5. Ruling on wearing rings on the index and middle finger for both men and women - Assim al hakeem
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6. Is it prohibited to wear rings in index and middle finger for both men and women? - Assim al hakeem
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