How do you know a person is married? You look at their hand for a ring. That's the power of that small circular object – it signals to the world information about you.
Unfortunately, most guys don't know how men should wear rings though.
Sure, we know what a wedding ring is but that's about it. So how can you control the message you send? Today we are covering the five rules every man needs to know about wearing rings:
- Understand that every ring sends a message
- Pay attention to your ring's proportion
- Balance the number of rings across both hands
- Match the metals of your rings
- Wear your ring with confidence
- The symbolism of rings on different fingers
- How many rings is too many?
Rule #1 Understand That Every Ring Sends A Message
The rings you wear send subliminal or direct messages. Whether you served in the navy or in the marine corps, a ring easily identifies your association.
Rings used to function as a signifier of wealth and power. The size of a precious stone and the clarity of the gem would indicate superior quality and therefore, a person of substantial wealth.
Think about the placement of a ring. They occupy a prominent place on the hands. It's hard to miss.
When it comes to the question of how men should wear rings, readers often ask me why I wear my wedding band on my right hand and not the left, as is the custom in North America.
People do notice your rings. They may not say anything, but they pick up subtle cues based on the rings you wear. Be careful about what messages you are sending out through your choice of rings.
By the way, if you were still waiting for an explanation… the custom in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (where I got married), is to wear the wedding band on the right hand. This is a common practice in most parts of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.
Rule #2 Pay Attention To Your Ring's Proportion
Now, that takes us to rule number three which is proportion.
If you have large hands, feel free to wear larger rings. Men with smaller hands should maintain proportions by wearing smaller rings.
By the same token, if you have slim fingers – keep your bands thin and compact. Bands that are broad will look better on men with fuller digits.
You also want to be careful here and not wearing too many rings at the same time. Even if you have larger hands and thick fingers, it will look off if you are wearing a ton of rings spread out on your hands regardless of their size.
There are some occasions when you are given a ring – a class ring at graduation, for instance. These tend to be a little larger than typical men's rings like wedding bands. Just make sure that you go for one that is going to be in proportion to your hands.
Smaller hands, smaller rings. Larger hands, larger rings. Pretty simple.
Rule #3 Balance Your Rings Across Both Hands
Now, let’s get to balance – it's different than proportion. Balance is wearing pieces and wearing jewelry in a way that looks even.
So, don't crowd your jewelry together, balance it across both your hands. If you are wearing a wedding band and a watch on your left hand, balance it out with a bracelet on your right wrist.
If you’re going to bring in a second ring then go for the right wrist again. The visual weight of your watch plus your wedding band will balance it out.
Gents, there's an element of experimentation here. You might need to try different combinations to find one you're happy with. Just make sure you avoid having your watch, five rings and a bracelet on one hand…while your other hand is completely bare.
When men wear rings everything should look harmonious and that takes us to rule four which is matching metals.
Rule #4 Match The Metals Of Your Rings
Most men are content to choose between silver or gold. The choice should be determined by whether your skin has a cool or warm tone.
- Wear silver if you have a cool tone. Your skin has a cool tone if your veins are visible.
- Wear gold if you have warmer color skin. In this case your veins wouldn't be visible.
Should your belt buckle match your jewelry? Yes, to look as coordinated as possible, try to match as many accessories as possible. Everything from the metal on your belt buckle, watch and rings should be in a similar tone.
This is where experimenting with your watch metals can come in handy also, as let's say you have an array of watches that have silver faces and black bands, you could match your metals on your rings by allowing yourself to wear silver-toned rings plus ones that may have black elements to them.
The key as I've said before is balance. As long as the colors and tones are balanced, it will look great.
You don't have to match the metals exactly. Stainless steel and white gold will blend together. Try to maintain as much uniformity as you can though.
Rule #5 Wear Your Rings With Confidence
How confident are you wearing additional rings? If you're not confident, don't try to fake it 'til you make it.
Gain confidence quickly by wearing the ring around the house until you get accustomed to the weight and feel of it. Next, start wearing your ring around people you trust and see if they notice. Get used to their comments before you start wearing it out in public.
Be ready to answer questions about the ring. Is there a story behind it? Maybe it's a family heirloom that has been passed through generations. Was it a ring that you bought from a craftsman on a European summer holiday?
Too often, men will buy and wear rings as they see it as the next fashion statement. If you want to look like Johnny Depp, that's great, but I guarantee his rings all have a story behind why he wears them.
Don't try to be something you're not. If you are not comfortable after trying all of these steps, rings just may not be your thing, and that's okay. The worst thing you can do is buy a ton of rings, not follow these rules, and look like a fool.
Your ring has the potential to be an amazing conversation starter. Make sure you ‘understand the why' behind it.
How Men Should Wear Rings: Symbolism On Different Fingers
Now you know how to look stylish wearing rings, you need to understand how men should wear rings on each finger. People use rings on certain fingers to work a certain type of energy. Most ancient texts and cultures advocate the wearing of rings on particular fingers to induce a mood.
For example – wear a ring on your thumb if you need to express your individuality. The positioning of the rings reflected the personality of the wearer.
Right Or Left Hand Rings?
Your dominant hand usually has more significance in displaying parts of your personality than your non-dominant hand.
If you are right-handed, then the right hand is your active or giving hand while the left is your receiving or passive hand. The reverse is true if you are left-handed.
Rings on your dominant hand relate to a conscious thought process. Rings on non-dominant hands could related to a person's personality – things he may not even realize about himself.
The Thumb Ring – Neptune
The thumb symbolizes character. A straight thumb indicated an upright character, while a crooked thumb sent a negative message. The thumb is also separated from the other four fingers – showing an alienation of sorts. Rings on the thumb are rare.
In Asia, the thumb ring was worn on the left hand as protection after releasing an arrow from a bow. The thumb ring was later associated with bravery and high status in society.
Neptune was the water god. A ring on this finger represents change and flow. A transient and quick-moving personality is associated with creative personalities. A thumb ring on the active hand indicates an assertive personality.
The Pinky Finger Ring – Mercury
Associated with intelligence. Family crests are often worn on pinky fingers. Although there is some connection between mafia leaders and an affinity for pinky finger rings, there isn't substantial evidence to prove that wearing a ring on this finger bears any relation to conflict.
Worn on the active hand – it shows great negotiating skills along with an excellent ability to express yourself. Worn on the passive hand, it shows a strong intuition and great listening skills.
A ring on the pinky finger will be on the edge of your hand and is bound to get more attention as a result. Wear a subdued tone and relatively slim ring to escape unwanted attention.
Index Finger Rings – Jupiter
People of high rank – kings, dignitaries, wore an index finger ring. It symbolizes power and authority.
Jupiter was the head honcho – the king of the gods. Men who wear a ring on this finger are generally unapologetic and confident in their leadership. You're the kind of person who is adaptive – to most situations. You take charge but can easily anger people.
Wearing a ring on the index finger indicates leadership qualities, self-esteem and a high level of confidence. Lacking self-confidence? Slip on a finger on this finger on your dominant hand. The index finger is also a sensible choice to wear a class ring or a family ring.
The Middle Finger Ring – Saturn
Associated with balance. Also called the identity finger. Saturn was the father of Jupiter.
The middle finger is associated with wisdom and dealing with responsibility and our role in life. This is the finger with the most strength and balance. Ironically, the middle finger provides the mid-point or the point of balance on your hand.
Wearing a ring on this finger points to an individual who honors responsibilities and values. A middle-ring indicates a serious outlook on life – the wearer has a strong moral compass and distinguishes between right and wrong.
The Wedding Ring Finger – Apollo
Apollo was associated with poetry, music and romance. This explains why we wear wedding bands on this finger. A ring on this finger reflects creativity and sense of well-being.
People who wear a ring on this finger are usually drawn to romantic love stories, romantic comedies and picnics in the park.
The reason western culture promotes a ring on this finger? It is the only finger that has an unbroken artery that leads straight to the heart, essentially creating a direct connection to the heart to signify an eternal bond.
Should You Limit The Number Of Rings On Your Fingers?
Are you a prolific ring-wearer? How many rings can a man safely wear without looking like a sleazy car salesman?
Men who wear a ring on every finger at once may be exhibiting a personality that has difficulty being decisive or getting organized. Apart from being eccentric, such men usually enjoy being in the spotlight.
What’s the maximum number of rings a guy should wear?
It depends on the types of rings. Assuming only one ring per finger – two or three spread out across both hands is generally a safe maximum. Go beyond a few rings and you are in danger of looking like a caricature. It's best to wear one bold, ‘statement' ring on one hand and nothing else.
A plain wedding band is generally all a man needs to wear. Wedding bands are always acceptable. But wear other rings with caution.
Class rings. Fraternal rings. Championship rings. Decorative rings. Signet rings…how men should wear rings is flexible. Whichever ring you choose to wear though – bear in mind that quality matters more than quantity. Just be sure you understand the symbolism behind men's rings.
Click below to watch the video – 5 Rules For Men Wearing Rings | Ring Symbolism & Significance: