Rings have been an integral part of human culture for centuries. They relay status, power, love, and are also used as symbols to mark personal beliefs and such. Rings have indeed woven themselves into the fabric of history for what seems like forever.
Have you wondered how a statement ring is different from a charm ring, for instance? Or, how a specific king of ring, much like the adoringly beautiful threads of a tapestry, can intertwine with your own stories, emotions, and traditions?
From the Pharaohs in Ancient Egypt who regarded rings as a symbol of eternity to modern-day romantics who bend the knee to propose to their dear ones – rings have cemented their place in our hearts as faithful companions, evoking status, power, and love. Here’s a deep and insightful look at the different kind of rings and what they mean:
Your guide to different types of rings
The magic and allure of birthstones is that they are not only deeply personal but also carry a lot of significance. For instance, Crystal birthstones are ideal for those born in April and are the mark of energy, beauty, luck and self-respect, while Ruby birthstones can be attributed to health, love and wisdom, perfect for those born in July.
Birthstone rings are much more than just a piece of jewellery that glimmer on your finger. They tell a story, resonate uniquely with your personality and add just the right touch of mystique to your aura. These kind of rings have been worn for centuries – from royalty to everyday folks – who like to carry something with themselves that’s deeply symbolic and resonates with their personal journey.
Whether you’re celebrating an upcoming birthday, honouring a loved one’s birthday or just want to cherish the story underpinning your birthstone, a birthstone ring can add a lot of meaningful and emotional touch to your jewellery collection.
Did you know that in the Middle Ages, promise rings were considered a symbol of love? In fact, they would even have romantic words engraved on them, such as “Love conquers all”.
People in an intimate relationship see promise rings differently although, generally speaking, giving or exchanging a promise ring with someone signals a long-term commitment in an exclusive relationship.
A promise ring is not to be confused with an engagement ring but rather as a ‘promise’ before entering into a lifelong personal commitment with someone, such as marriage. It can also be given or exchanged when two lovers are separated regionally, so promise rings act as an outward declaration that you are all in for the relationship, and not just momentarily infatuated with the person you claim to love and cherish.
However, promise rings are not reserved just for couples about to get married. For instance, if a couple has no intentions of getting married but want to stay together as part of their long-term commitment to each other, a promise ring can serve well as a heartfelt promise of love.
Cocktail rings are perfect for making bold fashion statements, characterised by their dramatic and often oversized design. Originally surfacing in the American prohibition era, cocktail rings have become a staple for people who love nothing more than wearing jewellery that’s both bold and extravagant.
Cocktail rings are somewhat similar to statement rings (described below) and are typically worn by those who want to truly express their inner self to the world, a fearless self-expression, so to speak. These dramatic and oversized rings often exude elegance and confidence, allowing you to project your unique style to the world as you embrace its audacious beauty.
Amidst the myriad of jewellery known to man, signet rings share a rather unique place in history for they have long served as carriers of family and personal identity. You’ll typically find them with engravings in a specific pattern to signify the wearer’s identity or family initials, making them bloodline talismans for a lifetime.
Signet rings are not merely worn as decorations for most people as they are often seen as a family flag of sorts, to be worn and waved around proudly, reminding the wearer of their family roots and legacy.
Signet rings may have lost their prominence in modern society, especially with the broad variety of rings available today, but they are still personal accessories which carry immense historical and cultural significance. You may have likely come across people wearing signet rings on their little fingers during grand occasions, such as a family gathering or dinner, as they have such extraordinary significance.
As the name suggests, eternity rings represent eternal love. The metal ring traditionally features a diamond or other gemstone around its entire circumference. Typically, the shape and position of each gemstone remains unchanged, where the pavé diamonds meet to form an endless loop of circles. This makes the ring’s appearance uniform and is, in fact, done on purpose: to symbolize eternal, everlasting love.
According to legend, eternity rings first popped up in ancient Egypt around 2000 BC, where Egyptian men used to give a ring to their loved one as a token of love and commitment. Eternity rings of this era were in the shape of a snake trying to bite and engulf its own tail. Over time, this design evolved to a simple gold band set with diamonds.
Eternity rings are not exchanged but rather presented by one spouse to another on their wedding anniversary to express their undying love for each other, signifying the belief that they will be with each other for the rest of their lives.
However, eternity rings can also be used outside this ‘theme’ – for example, people have gifted eternal rings to their children, best friends, and even mothers, as they symbolize a very special and limitless level of intimate love.
Everyone’s familiar with the concept of wedding rings although the most primitive interpretation is “a contract symbolizing the holy union between a man and woman” – indicating to the world that both people are living as husband and wife, and to visibly warn others that they are spoken for. Wearing wedding rings have become an indispensable procedure in today’s matrimonial events.
The concept of wedding rings dates back to the Roman era, where the ancient Romans believed that rings served as a symbol of unconditional love and a secure marriage. A roman man would wear a wedding ring after getting married, as an announcement to everyone that “his lady” is now his to keep and also as a warning to his wife to remain faithful.
It was also during this time that the tradition to wear a wedding ring on the ‘ring finger’ was observed as the Romans thought that this particular finger had a blood vessel leading straight to the heart – that it was the finger closest to the heart, and so wedding rings were worn on this finger to tie their lover’s heart. Crafty, to say the least!
Some people are not quite ready to enter into the lifelong commitment that comes with a marriage, and for this purpose we have engagement rings, which signify interest and longing for someone, in the hopes that they will one day marry them.
However, when you slip these beautiful, shimmering pieces of jewellery onto your future spouse’s fingers, they are more than just a piece of jewellery – they are a tangible symbol of promise and commitment, an eternal declaration of love.
The Claddagh ring is often used as a heirloom ring in Irish culture, symbolizing friendship, love and loyalty. The term “Claddagh” can be traced back to the 17th century and comes from the village of Claddagh in Galway, Ireland.
According to legend, Richard Joyce, who lived through many years of trials and tribulations in Algeria as a slave, mastered goldsmithing; in captivity, he forged the first Claddagh ring as an emblem of his love, as that’s how he wanted people to remember him after being released.
The classic Claddagh ring design features three key elements: a heart, crown and two hands, usually adorned by Celtic motifs.
Statement rings are an ode to all kinds of fashion rings that make a bold style statement – so, anything that is impactful, eye-catching, unique and large in size. Whether it’s adorned with gemstones, sleek in design, depicts certain motifs like florals or hearts, or has an architectural design, as long as it is unique, eye-catching, large and bold, it’s a statement ring!
Statement rings are loved my people who enjoy wearing jewellery that screams “unpredictable”, “fresh”, “unique”, and “unexpected”. However, it’s worth noting that overly-trendy styles and clichéd designs cannot qualify as statement rings, as the uniqueness factor is secondary and not the main focus, unlike statement rings.
Armor (or ‘armour’ in some parts of the world) rings are a specific style inspired by warriors, fighters, and knights, featuring a hinged or flexible design to let the wearer comfortably wear the ring on the entire finger, allowing it to move seamlessly as the joints in the finger move.
Other armor ring designs cover more than one finger, making them even more impactful and acting as a bold statement piece when you enter a room or exchange greetings with someone, for example.
Armor rings are typically crafted from a wide variety of metals, including stainless steel, sterling silver, and brass.
Dome rings are designed in a convex, 3D construction featuring sloping sides. The construction on these fashion rings make for some very unique light reflections, adding extra appeal to the jewellery piece.
Dome rings look a bit futuristic in design compared to other ring types, giving the illusion of height, as you might imagine, which can be as subtle or as dramatic as you like. They are typically designed very ergonomically, making for comfortable wear, despite their large proportions in most designs.
These rings can be crafted from a broad range of materials, including gold solver, wood, acrylic, and stainless steel.
As the name suggests, interlocking rings feature a multiple ring design intertwined together. They are not meant to be separated as this may damage the jewellery piece.
Interlocking rings signify teamwork, love, friendship, unity, and marriage, because the rings are designed to evoke feelings of security and inseparability. However, they can have different meanings around different parts of the world.
For example, in Chinese culture, interlocking rings signify wisdom of the Universe and the interconnectedness of everything that exists. In Celtic culture, these rings are worn as an emblem of eternity and infinity.
Disconnected rings, also referred to as open rings, can be traced back to ancient Celtic times, where knotwork designs integrated open spaces mixed with intertwining patterns within the ring designs.
Open rings or disconnected rings are sometimes referred to as bypass rings, where the ring design has two sides slightly wrapping around the finger without intersecting.
Disconnected rings generally feature a larger opening at the front but when the opening is at the back, the style is called ‘adjustable rings’.
Charms have been used since ancient civilizations and the trend has been going strong ever since. Typically worn as protective talismans, charms are thought to guard the wearer against evil spirits and bad omens, or bring good luck.
In Egypt, Greece and the Roman Empire, charms were worn to symbolize a person’s religious affiliations. Today, even though both fixed and dangling charms are usually not integrated with ring designs, some rings do feature pendants that are similar to charm bracelets or necklaces.
Motifs in charm rings can be anything from sentimental attachments and letters to hearts, celestial bodies and other talismans, worn to express specific milestones or the individual’s personal interests.
Solitaire rings feature a single stone which is usually larger and more prominently displayed in the center of the design. This is why diamond rings tend to be the most popular type of solitaire rings.
Popular options for solitaire rings include bezel and tension setting as well as prong setting. All of these have become fantastic choices for engagement rings as they have one thing in common: they don’t feature additional gemstones, large or small, as the main single gem more than suffices.
Just like the name implies, adjustable rings are designed to fit different finger sizes. In most cases, they feature an open ended mechanism or band, allowing the wearer to resize the ring according to the size they desire.
The main point of attraction in adjustable rings is their excellent versatility, as you can comfortably wear them on a wide variety of finger sizes. Certain types of adjustable rings, such as the fine jewellery type set in precious settings, have safety mechanisms like loops which can be moved on the go to adjust the size.
Most adjustable rings are made of brass, silver, and stainless steel, as these materials boast high durability, preventing ring integrity loss over the years.
Pearl rings can be traced back to around 3000 BCE in ancient Egypt. They were worn in Egypt, Greece and Rome by royalty and high-ranking nobles, evoking elegance and prestige. Pearl rings have seen a lot of reimagining throughout history, peaking in popularity and demand during the Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Renaissance eras.
You’ll find that genuine pearl rings feature beautiful cultured South Sea, Freshwater, Akoya, and Tahitian pearls. Nowadays, however, pearl rings can be found in a broad assortment of styles – from engagement rings adorned with diamonds and traditional solitaire rings to minimalistic and dainty ones or those featuring large statement baroque pearls.
Diamond rings are among the most popular types of rings in the world today. They are graded according to the 4Cs: clarity, cut, color, and carat weight. Carat weight is essentially the size of the diamond, so 1 carat is equal to 200 milligrams. Colours are available between D and Z, with D pointing to the most colourless and most valuable one and Z pointing to a more brown-coloured and somewhat less valuable one.
Furthermore, the cut of the diamond in a diamond ring determines its brilliance, which can range between completely flawless and brilliant to one which is less bright due to imperfections like blemishes and inclusions.
In the last few years, diamond rings fitted with lab grown diamonds have become very popular, owing to their sustainability and affordability.
Bypass rings feature an asymmetric design where the band covers the finger completely once and then slightly overlaps. These rings can be worn ‘connected’ or ‘disconnected’, with the latter falling under the adjustable rings category.
Bypass rings typically have a sleek band construction, although different elements from flora or fauna have become very popular too; for example, rings under the shape of snakes or leaves.
These type of rings can be designed from different kinds of metals, such as platinum, gold, stainless steel and silver. Some also include gemstones sitting either in the middle or at either end.
Knot rings are typically worn by those who want to celebrate their unbreakable connection – an eternal bond between you and your loved one, for instance.
Since ancient times, love and knots have been linked together, and that’s probably where the expression ‘tying the knot’ came from. Knots in jewellery have actually been found in Egyptian sculptures, Greek culture and Celtic adornments.
Knot rings make for a very popular gift for bridal parties, where they are used as promise rings or gifted to couples on anniversaries, for example.
Filigree jewellery in general, and not just rings, date back to the Greek and Mesopotamia culture from more than 5,000 years ago, according to multiple archaeological finds.
The world “filigree” is originally Latin, combining two words, “Filum” and “Granum”, which mean thread and grain respectively – referring to the thin metal strips or wires used to create filigree rings.
Filigree is the name given to a technique where thin metal strips are manipulated to form intricate and ornamental fashion ring designs through swirling, twisting, and creating different motifs as well as patterns. These are crafted only from metals and require a lot of time and skill just to complete a single piece.
Cluster rings are jewellery pieces featuring a group of corralled gemstones in the middle. These gemstones could be anything from pearls and diamonds to other popular coloured gems.
The name cluster originates from the fact that the gems are displayed tightly together, just like a cluster. Owing to the high number of gemstones used in cluster rings, these are considered true statement pieces as they offer an extraordinary amount of brilliance due to their typically large size.
Some designs contain multiple types of gemstone, such as pairs of diamonds and pearls nestled together in a cluster, typically in the shape of stars, flowers or other motifs.
Band rings feature a simple and minimalist yet sleek design without any additions or irregularities. Wedding rings are a common example of band rings, which come in many different finishes – from the classic high luster type to the brushed, hammered or matte type.
Band rings can be flat, concave or convex in construction. They can be partially or fully decked with diamonds but despite that, manage to uphold their symmetrical silhouette. Due to this, they are often called eternity bands – a common wedding band style preferred by women.
Nugget rings are made entirely out of gold, typically yellow gold, that is, and feature gold nuggets rather than the typical diamonds or other gemstones.
They originate from 1849’s California Gold Rush when miners sought nuggets of gold instead of flakes as the former were more valuable.
Nugget rings are associated with power, wealth, and fortune, and that explains why you’ll see a lot of professional athletes and celebrities wearing them. They’re more popular among rings for men.
Rings can be symbols of status, wealth, and power – or they can be tokens of cultural traditions and practices. Some are even emblems of love, loyalty and friendship.
Today, there are many different kinds of rings available to suit your personality, class, character, and style, including the extensive range of biker rings available at Biker Ring Shop.