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Which rings go on which fingers?

Which rings go on which fingers?

Which rings go on which fingers?

One of the biggest jewelry trends for summer 2021 is stacking rings. Celebrities and Instagrammers alike have been spotted with eclectic collections of colorful rings adorning their fingers, and it seems the more rings, the better. Pop star Dua Lipa has been snapped with a series of colorful rings across all her fingers, while it’s no surprise that all-around style icons and boho fashionistas the Olsen twins have also been spotted representing the trend. Even Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, is known for her understated and elegant take on ring stacking. But did you know that, according to traditions and trends throughout history, certain types of rings have traditionally belonged on certain fingers? Here's a look at some of these traditions and meanings so you can find out more, learn what your ring finger choice means and learn what looks good on each digit. With a bit of practice, you’ll be stacking rings like a pro in no time.

The ring finger

The ring finger

Let’s start with the best-known one: the ring finger. Want to know if a guy or girl is single or married? Check the ring finger of their left hand. Traditionally, in Western culture, the ring finger of the left hand is where people wear engagement or wedding bands. It comes from an old belief that there is a "vein of love" linking this finger to the heart. Engagement rings tend to be moved to the right ring finger just before marriage to make room for the wedding band, but then it’s up to you whether to keep them on separate hands or stack them on one. The index finger on each hand can also represent a promise, so it is not unusual to find unmarried women wearing a ring on the index finger, too. The ring finger on the right hand is also typically where graduates place their class ring, which commemorates the completion of their studies.

The pinky

Traditionally, the pinky finger is reserved for wearing a signet ring. Signet rings have been around for thousands of years and were once worn by gentlemen who dipped it into wax and used it to stamp the family crest on important documents. Signet rings were often engraved or had a symbol that denoted the wearer as belonging to a certain family or club. They eventually went on to become a symbol of status and class. Nowadays, signet rings don’t hold any status meaning or symbolism, but thanks to pop culture, they are often still placed on the pinky finger. Some graduates also choose to wear their class ring on their pinky finger as a symbol of professional status.

The thumb

The thumb

Throughout history, wearing a ring on the thumb has had countless meanings, from widows who wore their husband’s wedding ring there as a symbol of their everlasting love to a display of wealth and power for the Ancient Greeks. Nowadays, rings on the thumb are less about this and have more to do with making a fashion statement, showing off bigger patterns with writing or engraving work. Often, the thumb is used to display bold and big rings with an unusual shape or large jewel.

Index finger

Many historical portraits of royal family members show them pictured with rings on their index fingers as a sign of power, leadership and strength. When it comes to rings on the index finger today, however, anything goes. The slimmer shape of the index finger means it can carry small and delicate bands, and because the pointer finger is used so much, wearing a big-impact ring could help create your own sense of power. Wearing a ring on the index finger of your dominant hand will almost certainly mean it will get plenty of attention.

Middle finger

Middle finger

The middle finger is said to represent balance and centering. When thinking about stacking rings, the issue is much simpler. As the longest and most central finger, whatever ring you wear on there is sure to make an impact. The middle finger may be best reserved for the biggest and blingiest of your rings. Ultimately, it’s a great finger for showing off a great ring.

In years gone by, rings might have belonged on certain fingers, but these days it’s more a case of "anything goes". While the ring finger on the left hand will almost certainly always be reserved for wedding and engagement rings, there are no rules for the other fingers, so grab your favorite rings and get stacking.