Rings And Fingers - Which Does Each One Symbolise?
Rings and Fingers -
Which Does Each One Symbolise?
When it comes to wedding rings and engagement rings, most people know which finger they're worn on and what each one symbolises. They mark an important milestone in the wearer's life, such as the start of a new chapter in a couple's relationship.
The meaning of rings worn on the traditional ring finger is widely understood, but why are different types of rings worn on other fingers?
This can vary greatly, as folklore and legend place different meanings on ring-wearing throughout history. Wearing gemstones on certain fingers symbolises everything from eternal love to wealth and power.
Many luxury jewellery brands recognise the importance of the symbolism of rings and put their own slant on how and where to wear these beautiful adornments. In our complete guide, we'll discuss the meaning of wearing a ring on each finger.
The ring finger is the third finger on the left hand, where the wedding ring and engagement ring are worn. This is a symbol of eternal love, beauty and creativity. This belief is associated with the god, Apollo, the Sun God, in Greek mythology. Consequently, the base of the ring finger is known as the Mount of Apollo.
Favourite gemstones for the ring finger include amethyst, jade, moonstone, turquoise and sapphire. As well as wedding and engagement rings, the eternity ring is also worn on this finger. However, it can be worn on the third finger of the right hand too.
The middle finger traditionally represents responsibility, balance and the soul. The gemstones associated with the middle finger include aquamarine, coral and rose quartz. These precious stones are all said to have soothing properties.
When a person wears a ring on the middle finger, rather than the ring finger, it's an indication that they are not engaged or married.
It's the most noticeable finger, as it is the longest digit, so any ring worn on the middle finger is highly noticeable. For this reason, it can also be perceived as symbolising power, stability and balance.
People often choose a cocktail ring for their middle finger. In practical terms, rings worn on this finger are at risk of getting caught or snagged more easily, so slimmer bands are often worn.
Wearing a ring on the index finger symbolises leadership, ambition and self-confidence. Popular stones for this finger include blue topaz, lapis lazuli and amethyst.
The index finger is connected to the planet Jupiter in astrology. This is because Jupiter is believed to be the planet that governs showing us the right path. This is why we use the index finger to point the way towards anything and to tell someone the direction.
The little finger, also known as the pinky finger, is ruled by Mercury, according to palmistry. It symbolises intelligence, intuition and persuasion.
Wearing a stone such as moonstone, amber or citrine on the pinky finger is said to enable the power of Mercury. This enhances the wearer's communication skills, intuitive insights and relationships with other people.
Wearing a ring on the thumb symbolises self-assertion and willpower. It is less conventional but can be surprisingly comfortable to wear.
In years gone by, a ring worn on the thumb was traditionally a symbol of wealth. This was because it would cost more to make a ring big enough to fit on the thumb. In ancient Greece, it represented power and masculinity. A modern take likens it to representing friendship, due to the "thumbs up" gesture.
Left hand vs right hand
As well as the symbolism of which ring to wear on which finger, there are also differences between the left hand and right hand in terms of the hidden meanings.
For example, the wedding ring finger is traditionally on the left hand, stemming from a 16th-century belief born in Tudor times. The ring finger on the left hand was believed to be directly connected to the heart by a vein. This meant the wedding ring wearer signified to the world there was a "claim to their heart".
However, in the 21st century, more people are wearing their engagement rings and even wedding rings on their right hand. Some social commenters say this is a sign of the times, relating to more women being financially independent. They choose to wear their wedding ring on their right hand to symbolise a lack of dependence on their husband.
Left little finger
Wearing a ring on the little finger of the left hand is said to date back to the 19th century. Some men wore a signet ring on the little finger of their left hand - as well as their wedding ring on the left hand - to show they were very happily married.
Somewhat bizarrely, considering these rings were a symbol of true love and marriage, a man wearing rings on his left hand might also be doing so to declare his gangland association in the 19th century!
Left ring finger
The left ring finger is known universally as being reserved for the engagement and wedding ring. In some countries, people also wear a "promise ring" on this finger.
Also known as a pre-engagement ring, or a friendship ring, the promise ring is gifted to a romantic partner. It symbolises the wearer's commitment to a monogamous relationship. It can be given to a loved one as a precursor to an official engagement ring.
Left index finger
Wearing a ring on the left index finger was a luxury reserved for royalty at one time. Members of the court would kneel before the sovereign and kiss the ring on his or her index finger as a mark of allegiance and respect. Today, everyone tends to wear fashion rings on this finger.
Right index finger
The right index finger is reserved for the wedding ring in traditional Jewish ceremonies. However, following the ceremony, the bride can move it to the ring finger on their left hand if they wish.
Right ring finger
In some cultures, such as in India, an engagement or wedding ring can be worn on the right ring finger. This is an older tradition and in modern times, more people are wearing the wedding ring on the left ring finger, matching the culture of the US and UK.
Here at Rich Diamonds of Bond Street, London, we have a beautiful selection of rings available. If you're thinking of adding to your collection, browse our luxury rings for inspiration.
A ring is the ideal way to show loved ones how much they mean to us. Whether you're searching for a wedding ring, engagement ring or eternity ring, it's a timeless symbol of love and commitment. It's one of the most important purchases you will ever make, so come to the experts to make your choice with confidence.