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The Ultimate Guide To Men’s Rings

Jewellery typically has many meanings and can symbolise different aspects of a person's life, and men’s rings are no exception. From engraved men’s signet rings to wedding bands, the fashion for men’s rings has grown in popularity over the years with many today wearing rings purely to accessorise an outfit. 

In this guide, Hatton Jewellers’ expert team share their knowledge and help you understand the meaning behind men’s rings and how you can start styling them today.

The History of Men’s Rings 

Men’s rings can be seen throughout history with a range of different meanings, from promises to symbols of power and wealth. Looking back to ancient Rome, signet rings were often used as a means of personal identification, starting with iron signet rings (which, as the wealth of Rome increased, then became gold). Historically each piece of jewellery was completely unique to the individual which was reflected in the use of signets as a personal wax seal when signing important documents.

Until the mid 1940s it is believed that a lot of the time it was typically only the women who wore a wedding ring once married. However, during World War I many men began wearing wedding rings as a memory of their wives and family back at home. It is thought that this happened again in World War Two, marking the beginning of men wearing wedding rings more prominently. Following this, the glitz and glam of the 70s brought more men’s jewellery into the spotlight with a huge uplift in men wearing gold chains and rings, potentially making men’s wedding rings even more popular. 

Why Do Men Wear Rings?

Men typically wear rings for two different reasons: tradition and style. Traditionally a man’s wedding band is worn on the ring finger on the left hand. However, men often wear rings purely as a fashion statement, such as wearing a signet ring. Unless you’re married, there are no particular rules in place for which finger you should wear a ring on, however wearing a ring on a particular finger can have traditional meanings

Why Do Men Wear Pinky Finger Rings?

As there are no religious or cultural associations with wearing a ring on the pinky finger, this is a common place to wear a statement ring. Historically people of high influence often wore a signet ring on their pinky finger as part of an affiliation with a certain group.

Why Do Men Wear Rings On Their Ring Fingers?

Men tend to wear romantic rings such as wedding bands or engagement rings on their ring finger. Rings worn on the ring finger are symbolically synonymous with love and romance. This stems from an ancient Roman belief that the Vena Amoris (vein of love) runs directly from the fourth finger of the left hand to the heart.

Middle Finger Ring Meaning

Similarly to the pinky finger, the middle finger has little tradition or symbolism associated with it. This makes it a great option for statement rings as the central location on the hand will allow it to truly stand out. 

Why Do Men Wear Rings On Their Index Finger?

The index finger was often used for signet rings with an engraved family crest as it is the finger that we typically use the most. Historically, this meant that the ring was easily accessible if the owner needed to stamp an important document. 

Thumb Ring Meaning 

In many societies, thumb rings are a sign of wealth or power, usually featuring bold and chunky designs. It is also a great option for a man who already wears other rings as wedding rings and pinky rings can look quite overcrowded when placed together. 

How To Wear Men's Rings 

When wearing rings, consider your personal style and everyday lifestyle. Whichever rings you choose, the most important factor is to be confident in the jewellery you’re wearing. Rings can effortlessly transform your whole outfit and create a look that is unique and fun as well as stylish.

Consider The Metal

To keep your look sophisticated, opt for one colour of metal and build your collection around that choice. Your skin tone is a great indicator of which metal will best suit you. Silver, white gold and platinum work well with cooler skin tones while warmer skin tones typically look best with gold toned metals. Thinking about your wardrobe can also help when choosing a metal for your jewellery. For example, gold is perfect for pairing with black or darker coloured clothing such as emerald green or navy blue. 

Think About Your Lifestyle

When choosing your ring, your personal lifestyle is an important factor to consider. Being comfortable in your jewellery will help you decide which rings to wear. For example, do you use your hands a lot at work? Do you work in manual labour or type on a computer all day? Does your work require you to look a certain way? This can affect the type of ring you’re wanting to wear, as if you have a job in manual labour a precious metal could be easily damaged. Similarly, if you’re typing at a computer all day a chunky signet ring could feel heavy and restrictive.

Keep It Simple or Make A Statement 

Less is more when it comes to most types of jewellery. One or two rings is the best way to start, so you can then build on your collection. Balance will help to keep your look sophisticated, but it's important that it isn’t symmetrical. If you wear one other ring with your wedding ring, experiment with how it looks on different fingers on the opposite or same hand. 

How To Size Men's Rings 

To find out your men’s ring size, download our ring sizer or follow these simple steps: 

  1. Wrap a piece of string or paper around the bottom of your finger
  2. Mark the point where it reaches the other side of the string with a pen 
  3. Using a ruler to measure the length of the string to the pen mark
  4. Choose the closest measurement on the ring size chart below to find your ring size

Are Men’s Ring Sizes Different From Women's?

Men’s and women's ring sizes are the same. However, the average size for a ladies’ ring in the UK is M, while the average men’s ring size is T (seven sizes larger than a women’s ring).

How To Know If The Ring Fits Correctly

Your ring should be able to slip onto your finger comfortably, being slightly tighter around the knuckle to avoid it slipping off. Ideally, the ring should also not twist around on its own.  

Can Men’s Rings Be Altered In Size? 

Most rings can be altered in size so long as they are made from a metal that the jeweller can work with. However, if a ring is adorned with diamonds or gemstones this could be harder to resize due to stones being set around the band leaving little plain metal to work with. 

To reduce the size of a ring, the jeweller will cut away a piece of the band before soldering it back together and polishing the ring to make it look good as new. Making a ring larger can be a more difficult process as it involves adding an extra piece of metal before soldering and polishing. 

Tips For Choosing The Right Ring Size

Your hands are likely to swell slightly if you’re too hot and are typically smaller when you’re cold. To make sure you get the correct ring size, run your hands under room temperature water to get them to temperature. 

If you’re unsure of your ring size, a reputable jeweller is likely to have some sample size rings you can try to see which fits most comfortably.

The Advantages Of Solid Gold Rings

Solid gold jewellery is typically the most valuable type of jewellery you can purchase. Pure gold is most commonly alloyed with other metals to make it more durable. For example, a 9ct solid gold ring is extremely durable which makes it perfect for everyday wear. The purest form of gold jewellery is 24ct. This is typically very yellow in colour and soft, meaning it is not the most practical type of gold to use in jewellery.

Pure gold is also less likely to tarnish - the higher the purity, the less likely it is to tarnish. If kept in good condition it is also an extremely valuable asset to own. Gold makes for a great long-term investment as the price of gold rarely decreases and is even known to increase during times of economic hardship. For more information on how to invest in gold, head over to our blog.

What To Consider When Choosing Men's Wedding Bands

When choosing a wedding band there are several factors you should consider. As you are likely to  be wearing it on a daily basis, you should consider the ring’s durability alongside the overall style and cost of the ring.

Durability 

Most men wear their wedding band on a daily basis. If you choose a metal that isn’t durable you’re more likely to get small scratches and chips on your ring. Palladium, platinum, gold and rose gold are all particularly durable. 

Appearance

Your personal style should be reflected in your wedding band. The metal used for wedding bands is typically gold, silver and rose gold, however there are also many black and grey options on the market should they suit your personality and style better. 

Cost

One of the most important factors when choosing your wedding band is to consider your budget. Platinum is often the most expensive option, while a 9ct yellow gold ring will offer you durability at a more affordable price. 

Different Types Of Men’s Rings 

There are many different types of men’s solid gold rings on the market. From statement pieces to simple wedding bands, explore the different types of rings to know which style will suit you best. 

What Is A Signet Ring?

Traditionally a signet ring is worn on the pinky finger or index finger. It is made up of a unique family crest on the face of the ring and has been commonly used throughout history to mark and seal documents by pressing the face into hot wax. Many people of high social status wore a signet ring. 

What Is A Knot Ring?

A men’s knot ring is typically made using two pieces of metal that meet and form the shape of a knot. Knot rings are often thought to symbolise love and unity as, once knotted together, the two strands of metal become unbreakable.

What Is A Buckle Ring?

A buckle ring is made into the shape of a buckle. During the Victorian era the buckle symbolised the love between the giver and receiver of the ring. The ring still has the same sentimental meaning today. 

How To Clean A Man’s Gold Ring 

Taking your men’s gold ring to a professional cleaner is always recommended for the best results to make it look like new. However, home remedies can also be used to help keep your ring clean. Ensure you don’t use harsh materials when cleaning your jewellery as this could easily lead to scratching or damaging the metal. 

  1. Get a small bowl of warm water and mix with any mild liquid detergent.
  2. Brush your jewellery gently with a small soft brush and be careful not to scratch the metal.
  3. Rinse thoroughly under water and pat dry with a soft lint free cloth.
  4. Use a quick dip liquid jewellery cleaner to keep your ring shiny.

Removing your ring when washing your hands, swimming, exercising or partaking in outdoor activities such as gardening will help to keep your ring safe and free from damage. When not wearing your ring ensure you store it in a safe place

Men’s rings have been worn for many years and often symbolise different aspects of a person's life, from romantic involvement to family values. Whether you’re wanting to know more about men’s rings or are looking for tips to purchase the perfect ring, check out the Hatton Jewellers blog.