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


Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette!
Today’s video is all about rings; we discuss what ring works well on what
finger, the symbolic meaning of each finger, as well as the history behind it
and rules to wearing multiple rings at the same time. Women have enjoyed wearing
rings throughout decades, for men, it has been a little bit outdated in the last
few years but recently, they’ve come back into fashion and so men wear rings again.
Now, it’s not always clear what statement you’re sending when you’re wearing your
ring on your thumb or your index finger but as you may have noticed, I’m a big fan of
rings and I wear them all the time so it’s a topic dear to my heart. My
fascination with men’s rings actually started in 2015 when I was in Berlin,
Germany. At the flea market, I spotted this malachite sterling silver ring
which cost just 10 euros and I liked the look of it and that started it all
for me. So what do rings on different fingers mean? First of all, let’s start
with the ring finger. Interestingly, before medical science was established,
people thought that there was a direct vein from your ring finger to your heart,
it was called the vena amoris or the vein of love. Because of that, it was the
natural finger to wear a wedding ring on. Now that being said, wedding rings on the
ring finger haven’t actually been super popular until sometimes in the mid 20th
century. Western men going to war in the early 20th century often had a ring that
made them think about their loved ones at home. As such, wedding rings became more and more popular as it became more affordable for
people to buy rings. Nowadays, a married man going without a ring may elicit
suspicion in the right circumstances. I was at a bar the other day, I saw a
man sitting there discretely removing his ring and putting it in his jacket
pocket when he noticed that there was attractive one sitting right next to him.
Ironically, he had a tan line on his ring finger so it was still quite obvious and
women often look on the hand of a man to determine very quickly if they’re
married or not. Wedding rings are traditional in all parts of the world,
however, traditionally, wedding bands are more in the simpler side and more elaborate
rings are typically not a wedding ring but they could be the engagement ring
for women which is not something that is worn by men. So what hand should you wear
your wedding ring on? Well, it depends on the culture. For example, in the former
British Empire in the US and in certain countries in Europe, it is worn on your
left ring finger. On the other hand, in more southern and eastern European countries
in south and in central America, the wedding band for men is originally worn
on the right hand. For example, in Germany where I’m originally from, men would wear their
wedding band on the left hand while they were engaged and then they would switch it
to the right hand once they got married. While that was a traditional rule and
probably in the 1950s, every man would abide by it, today, I think they’ve relaxed a
little more and some would wear it on their left hand. Since
I live in the US now, I wear a wedding band on a left hand because that’s the
traditional way to wear it. Of course, if you’re not married, you can also wear
rings on your ring finger that could be something with a stone, it could be
something like a signet ring, even though they’re more traditionally worn on your
pinky finger. Which brings us to our next finger. The word pinky is derived from
the Dutch word pink which means as much as little finger. The earliest recorded
use of the term pinky goes back to Scotland in the year 1808. Wearing a pinky
ring for men has a long history of symbolism. For example, in Victorian times,
men including Prince Albert would wear their wedding band on their pinky ring.
Sometimes, it was also stacked underneath their signet ring which was also worn on
their pinky finger. On the other hand, in the US, pinky rings were sometimes
associated with criminals and thugs. For example, if you watch the movie “The
Godfather”, you can see them wear pinky rings. Today, pinky rings are worn by all
sorts of men in the US and the symbolic meaning is
most limited to a few things. Professional rings, for example, in
engineering is usually worn on the pinky finger. Of course, the pinky is also the
chosen finger for a signet ring and you can see many famous men today still wear
them. Prince Charles, for example, wears his pinky
ring stacked with his wedding band. Americans adapted to that
tradition in homage to the British. For example, FDR wore it in the same fashion
and to learn more about pinky rings please check out this guide and if you
want to learn more about Signet rings this video is right for you. Next up is
the middle finger, also known as the long or the tall finger. It’s most well known
for the obvious gesture you can make with it and because of that, very few men
choose to wear a ring on this finger. If you ever put a ring on your middle
finger, you can notice that it gets in the way of things and it feels odd on
your hand. A ring located at the center of the hand is said to symbolize
responsibility and balance. Wearing a ring on your middle finger is a very
bold choice that gets you noticed and maybe it can even be a conversation
starter. Personally, I don’t like the look of it and I don’t like the feel and
because of that, I don’t wear one. Next up is the index finger,
also known as a trigger finger or pointer finger.
It’s a most dominant finger, only second to the thumb and because of that, it
symbolizes power or authority and leadership, maybe even more so than
the middle finger. If you want your ring to get noticed, wear it on your index
finger. For many men, the index finger is the biggest which often means you need a
bigger ring so it looks proportional.When my daughter plays with my ring collection,
she often puts it on her index finger, of course, it’s way too big and it’s more
play than anything else for her. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the look
of a ring on my index finger. It also gets in the way of things. Clever, if you
look at older pictures of powerful men, they often wore rings on their index
finger. Now last but not least is the thumb. It is probably your most used
finger and it’s usually associated with softer gestures such as the thumbs up
which are less harsh as the index finger where we
point at things. In my experience, the thumb is the key to any kind of a grip
position so having a ring really restricts your movement and it’s just
awkward. Probably because of its impracticality, wearing a ring on your
thumb symbolizes wealth and influence because you don’t have to do any
practical work with it. In my opinion, it’s definitely the boldest choice you can
make for a ring and your thumb is quite thick so you need something substantial
that still allows you to move your hand. Because of that, it’s most typically
chosen in a fashion setting. That being said, there are different ring cultures
around the globe. So wearing a single ring is easy but what about putting
multiple rings? Should you wear it together? How many rings should you wear?
Should they be next to each other or not? What colors should they have? These are
all questions that are a little more tricky to answer. First of all, how many
rings can you wear? The simple answer is that’s up to you. There have been men
who’ve worn rings on every finger, sometimes even stacked on the same
finger. Others wear six rings or four. Personally, I’m a big believer in less is
more and so I usually go for one or two rings maximum. Typically, I have my gold
wedding band on the left hand and then I combine it with a gold, rose
gold, or silver ring on my right hand. Typically, they are worn on my pinky finger or
on the ring finger. Now, someone who wears a lot of rings at the same time is the
English author and dandy, Nick Foulkes
and I think it works really well with his
eccentric style, however, it wouldn’t work for me. Now someone may wonder, isn’t
wearing rings effeminate? In fact, it isn’t! Yes, women wear rings but also men
have been wearing rings historically, especially men in power, so if you as a
man wear a ring today, it’s not effeminate at all. It is actually very
manly. Just think of the Pope, for example, who has a lot of influence and he always
wore rings. Honestly, I suggest you just wear what feels right to you and make
sense. For example, my dad used to work as a surgical assistant at a hospital and
so he would always wear latex gloves because of that, wearing rings was
inconvenient in work so he wouldn’t wear them during the week.
Now if you wear more than one ring, should you mix and match your metals? Personally,
I think it looks best if everything is matched. That being said, it never keeps
me from wearing the rings I like. My wedding ring, for example, is gold and I
never exchange it, it would be too bothersome for me to get a second wedding band in
silver or maybe a third one in rose gold so I always stick with my gold wedding
band and then I just choose the ring I like that maybe works with my cufflinks
and overall, it creates a harmonious look. What about wearing two or more rings in
the same hand? The most traditional way is probably to stack your wedding band
and your pinky ring all on your pinky finger. Now what if you want to wear
rings right next to each other, let’s say on your pinky and your ring finger?
Personally, I’m not a big fan because the metal touches and it just feels awkward
on my hand. A classic traditional safe way for men to wear rings is to have a
single one on your ring finger. If you want to add two, you can put it on a
different hand, either on your pinky or on your ring finger
or you can stack them on your pinky. At the end of the day, it’s each to his own
but now I’m curious to learn how you wear your rings how many you wear
what finger you wear them on and if you mix and match metals and stones or not.
So in today’s video I’m wearing an outfit which would also be characterized
as a Rhapsody in Blue it’s built around my blue stone ring and
that color of the stone picks up one of the stripes in my jacket otherwise
there’s a navy and a medium blue stripe my shirt is a light blue twill
my tie is a blue and brown silk knit tie from Fort Belvedere just like the
silk pocket square in light blue with dark blue Paisleys both of which you
can find in our shop here my cufflinks I chose rose gold monkey fist
cufflinks that are very harmonious with my ring because it’s the same metal
color and it also matches my belt buckle I’m combining it with pale blue chinos
and dark suede blue boots of course the belt is also blue and matches the color
of my shoes and it’s fabric with brown leather and a go;d buckle
if you enjoyed this video want to learn more about men’s rings definitely
head over to our pinky ring guide and our signet ring guide

100 comments

  1. And here we go, an interesting video to watch!
    I love this channel.
    I learned so much and I upgraded my closet.

  2. Wearing a ring is girly.
    No its not the pope wears rings, he also is not what anyone pictures when the word 'manly' is used.

  3. Interesting suggested video as I wear rings on all of my fingers & thumbs for almost 20 years. @FulMetalArtimis
    all silver. My wedding band is tungsten

  4. I wear my gold wedding band on my left ring finger and a silver Celtic knot ring on my right ring finger. They represent my 2 great loves in life, my wife and Ireland. I bought the silver ring there in 1997 when I was still single.

  5. Rings are on my left hand. On the thumb, a ring that looks like smaller versions of Spanish silver coins. On the middle finger, a crushed lazuli ring. Finally on the Pinky, a silver octopus or Kraken. Like to think of the treasure, the ocean and the sea monster, respectively.

  6. Don't know if its exactly a gentleman's way to use, but I use 10 rings, 5 in each hand, and the most of then are skulls (pretty big) and after a time you get used to the metal sounds haha

  7. Malachite has a powerful energy that attracts wild and almost chaotic elements into your life in order to encourage growth and development. I'm not surprised you felt attached to it. For me it also seems to give me an energy boost.

  8. Ring of health +6 hp regen
    Soul ring +6 strength, +2.5 hp regen
    Ring of Basilius +6 damage, Basilius aura

  9. In my case I usually wear 2 rings. One silver Art Deco style ring on the left pinkie and one silver ring with a rectangle of Jade on the ring finger beside it

  10. I used to wear two rings on my right hand: a bulky metal dragon on my index finger, and a black ring of my favourite game franchise on my middle finger.
    I gave the dragon one to my girlfriend because, like me, she likes dragons. Now I only wear my black ring. It's fun because it has already been the start of a conversation, just as mentioned in the video. xD

  11. In Poland in the 17th century, fencers and military men who liked to fight with a saber wore a ring on the thumb. The ring protected against injury and thumb truncation.

  12. I wear a Claddagh ring on my right hand, with the heart pointed away from my hand (toward the fingernail), as that would indicate that I’m single if I ever met anybody who knew how Claddaghs worked ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  13. My wedding ring is Tattooed on, The 'Ol lady came up with that one when we got married, guess it was so I couldn't sneak it off when we got hitched lol. Now I, like a lot of my bro's wear rings on most of our fingers. But they don't have any meanings to them, Just nice and heavy and make a better impression on somebody if ya gotta smack 'em at the bar kinda like legal brass knuckles. That and they look good lol

  14. I wear all five rings on each finger but the thumb ring fingers if it's on your thumb right hand that means you're single that sits on your thumb left hand that means you're in a relationship does a beautiful woman that I wear all five rings sometimes I have to switch rings around just to wear a different one for a while have a blessed day

  15. Meanwhile there's me sitting here in a pair of blue jeans, band shirt, camo ballcap, and work boots.

    Why was this on my recommended list?

  16. Your pinky ring is insanely nice. You inspired me to get a new ring for my ring finger and a pinky ring.
    SUBBED*

  17. I wear one ring on each middle finger every day my fathers class ring and a tungsten carbide ring with wood inlay

  18. I typically don't wear rings for the simple reason that I work as general labor for a factory and any rings I might wear would be damaged or possibly cause injury to me or another worker (such as it possibly melting on my hand), that being said I am curious about rings and am looking into possibly wearing them when I am out socially.

  19. Thank you for making this video, I have enjoyed rings since my early teens, I have only ever worn then on either my index, middle, or ring fingers, this was very educational thanks again.

  20. I wear rings on all of my fingers and thumbs, my favorite Ring's to collect are Celtic and Viking design and skulls, I feel like a pirate, some of my rings are silver and some stainless steel. I'm planning on making my own gold pirate ring with Sapphire's, Ruby's and some diamonds as well.

  21. God I hate bow ties. It is such a tacky accessory and IMO more of a novelty. You sir have impeccable style but as soon as I see you with a bow tie on it just seems almost comical to me. It is the same with any man. I have never seen a man with a bow tie that looked good. Not even Bill Nye or the popcorn guy, Orville. I come here for my style information. As I said you have in my opinion impeccable style and the only thing I do not agree with is your taste for bow ties. Bow ties and fedoras and "pork pie" hats. Those 3 things should never be worn. Not even Bruno Mars looks good in a pork pie or a fedora. Oh and baseball caps are bad. Aside from doing yard work or being a kid a baseball cap should just not be worn. Especially with cargo shorts. Oh geez don't even get me started on cargo shorts lol. I have lots of opinions. Anyhow, thank you for a great channel.

  22. Royal Navy sailors traditionally don't wear rings. Largely the machinery thing, but also because metal close to an old style compass can affect the bearing.

  23. Skull ring to symbolize the remberance of mortality (memento mori) and silver wedding band to represent important bond. Maybe a signet ring but I have no allegiances.

    Normally I don't wear rings because they make hitting more irritating.

    For me, rings are for formal settings.

  24. Just got myself a ring for my middlefinger, i like the look of it as it's kind of balanced on the hand. My ring is quite flashy though, quite different than yours, but it's just my style, so if it fits and you wear it confidently it works, that's what i believe. 🙂

  25. 5 rings,
    3 on the right hand stainless steel spinner on my pinky, an antique rough forged silver anhk on my middle finger and a meteor Iron band on my thumb.
    On my left I wear a tri-gold braid ( white gold, rose gold and regular 18k) on my pinky and a thin platinum band on my pointer.

  26. Rigs are impractical and the "meaning" of each position is esoteric. Unless you're writing a period piece, if you must put this hazard on your finger, pick whichever finger it fits or you want.

  27. The only rings I can see being useful is a push dagger like the gom jabbar, a Bowman's ring, or electronic security clearance.

  28. Hand woven copper ring on each of my middle fingers a sterling silver ring made of leaves on my right ring finger and i have a stainless steel plain wedding band and a stirling silver woven ring stacked on my left ring finger

  29. Being born and raised in Brazil we have some particularities about rings.
    The engagement ring, like in Germany are used both for men and women, but on the right hand. When I got engaged to my wife, many people here in the US used to get curious about why she did not have a diamond ring, but both of us had a right-hand band.
    Second. Brazilians have a tradition that sadly is dying of having a profession ring that is put on the same finger of your marriage ring differently the British.

  30. Good information, as always. For someone that preaches gentlemen’s grooming and dress, I would suggest you start getting a serious manicure.

  31. Mine is harder to explain you’d have to reach me before on Facebook for answers my page is Vincent Ray Lilly, I wear a lot of purple black and white

  32. I have two sterling silver rings. One on my right ring finger and the other on my left middle. Normally pair it with a black or brown leather wrist accessory

  33. I wear a silver band on my right ring finger. The band was made with a celtic design by an Irish jeweler and was a gift from my parents after graduating from high school. I wear it mainly to remember my family, as well as a necklace my friend made me to remember the friends who helped me through high school and shaped my being.

  34. i wear a cheap stainless steel ring on my middle finger. its got a silver coloured outer rim with the inside being dark grey with diagonal strips. it was $10 in australia but it looks similar in size, shape and pattern to the thicker side of mens tungsten rings. i rly like it and tbh i dont know if i need a new one but if i had the option of getting a tungsten ring i probably would.

  35. Thanks Raphael! Found your channel via Antonio over at RMRS years ago and am grateful for it. Thanks for all you do!

  36. How timely to find this video this evening. I met a fellow fashion conscious gentleman today and I noticed he was wearing a gold signet ring on his middle finger. Of course this was interesting enough for me to introduce myself and start up a conversation and ask about it.

  37. I'm Persian and in my culture it is almost essential for every man to wear a stone ring, stones such as agate and turquoise. They're thought to be attractive by ladies. It is also widely believed that wearing such stones offer some sort of protection and healing powers. Oddly enough men rarely if not ever wear their wedding bands for some reason I couldn't comprehend.

  38. the only ring i wear is my bronze Sleipnir horse signet ring on my right index; this was the finger that the ring happened to fit best on, but after learning about the symbolism, I am happy that it worked out this way; thanks for the video, love the channel

  39. I were a steel ring on my right hand (middle finger) with a religious verse on it that has personal significance. Wear it at all times.

    I'm unmarried but perhaps I will switch it out for a wedding band on my other hand one day.

  40. I wear a silver ruby ring on my middlefinger of my less dominant (right) hand. It is really comfortable, and too small for my index finger.

  41. I wear a ring I’m that’s entirely made of jade and I only wear it on my right thumb. It works really well with my stainless steel bracelet that I wear in my right wrist and my wooden skull bracelet that I only wear in on my left wrist.

  42. As a single man, I had a custom ring made which when easily turned, looked just like a gold wedding ring. Basically two rings in one which could come in handy as a "blocker".

  43. It is not true that signet rings are worn on the pinky. Traditionally, the ring finger would be correct. Wearing such a ring on the pinky is a relatively recent fashion, and I actually find it despicable. I wear mine on my right ring finger, and it looks and feels much better.

  44. I use four rings. Two on both hands, both with one on de ring finger and the other on the index finger, every one gets a silver look, one with dark gray in the middle one with writings, one either a dark thin blue lane in the middle and the other with a a carved star besides a tiny little diamond.

  45. I wear a cross/shield silver ring on my wedding ring finger (divorced), and a black ceramic NFC ring on the pinky of my opposite hand.

  46. I have a kinda big collection of different rings.. My favorite ones are my Opal and ruby rings which I wear on my pinky and my thumb… Sometimes when I don't wear my joint ring I Form of a cobra on my ring finger I have to similar big Opal silver rings which I made myself. Also I have an American skull ring with an no so. Expensive diamond in one eye which I put there myself and I have some super nice Lapislazuli rings in silver which I put on my point fingers sometimes. The joint ring which I got a few weeks ago is an amazing ring from Mallorca which was sold there for a few hundred bucks and cause of its worth I bought another opal with 5th brightness and put it inside the right eye of the snake head what absolutely looks amazing… I will definitely make a video about all the jewelry I have soon… Also… Amazing video… Got you a sub…

  47. A ring on the thumb in my cultural background typically would identify a fisherman/sailor or archer (hunter, warfare archery, sports ect), the thumb ring for fishermen or sailors could often provide a notch where netting or rope could be gripped when it was wet without hurting the hands or slipping, in this context I have also seen small blades put on the reverse side (the side facing away from the palm) so a line could be cut easily while holding something else if needed. In the archer context many of my friends and family still practice archery as it has been a tradition for many generations, some use the multi-finger ("english style" draw) others prefer the thumb draw (thought to originate in Mongolia) this requires a thumb ring that can allow the bow string to be held in place and then slide free with minimal impact on the arrows flight. Some of my family members wear the archery thumb ring even outside of the archery context so they can build muscle memory with using the ring in every day tasks.

    Interesting video thanks!

  48. LOVE the German thumb ring shown!! I'd wear it myself. I am part German and am an Amazon, so like large rings. Lol

  49. Regarding Germany: People in general wear engagement rings on the left and wedding rings on the right ring finger, this is still going as far as I know, might also be my conservatism though that observes this a lot and that more liberal, young people don't care much about what hand they wear it on.

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