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Thousands of years ago, the ancient Egyptians used to wear wedding rings. They believed that the “vein of love” ran from the fourth finger on your left hand directly to the heart.
This tradition is still practiced today with couples trading and wearing wedding bands to signify their love. But did you know there are many other types of rings?
This guide will explain the many different kinds of rings you can have in your jewelry collection
Before the wedding ring, there’s the engagement ring. It’s the ring that signifies that the wearer is engaged to be married. Thanks to a De Beers marketing campaign, three-quarters of American brides wear a diamond engagement ring.
Diamond rings have become the standard. While modern brides have broadened their tastes, you can’t go wrong with an elegant ring featuring a bold diamond.
There are several traditional styles available for your engagement ring.
- Classic solitaire
- Side stone
- Three stone
- Princess cut
Modern engagement rings come in different types of ring styles and designs. These include channel set stones or cluster designs.
Once the big day comes, the bride and groom exchange wedding bands. Traditionally, these are simple metal bands that get worn on the left ring finger. Ancient civilizations would use leather or iron.
Modern trends are to use fine metals, such as gold, silver, titanium, platinum, palladium, and tungsten.
Modern trends include more detailed rings that have engraving or even stones set into them. For more active individuals, there are even silicone wedding rings.
Once a couple marries, they can give anniversary rings. Typically, people choose to give an anniversary on a major milestone year. This could be the fifth, fifteenth, or fiftieth.
Traditional rules state that you should give a particular type of ring for specific anniversaries.
- First Anniversary: Gold
- Fifth Anniversary: Sapphire
- Tenth Anniversary: Diamond
- Twentieth Anniversary: Emerald
- Fiftieth Anniversary: Golden Jubilee
Modern trends have incorporated these traditional rules with modern designs. This creates a perfect blend of old and new.
Sometimes couples care a lot about each other but aren’t ready to take the next step towards marriage. This is when they give promise rings. It symbolizes their commitment to the relationship and each other.
Sometimes the promise ring is the precursor to an engagement ring, sometimes not. The promise is a commitment to stay faithful to each other.
When it comes to different types of rings and meanings, the Claddagh ring may have the most meaning behind it. This ring originated in Ireland and was traditionally used as an engagement or wedding ring during medieval times.
The ring represents friendship, loyalty, and love. The hands are for friendship, the crown is for loyalty, and the heart is for love. The ring can be simple, with just these three symbols or more elaborate with stones.
There are several ways to wear this ring, and how you wear it will depend on your relationship status.
- Single: Right hand with the heart facing away
- In a relationship: Right hand with the heart facing inward
- Engaged: Left hand with the heart facing away
- Married: Left hand with the heart facing inward
There was a time in history when a majority of the population couldn’t read and write. Signet rings became a popular way for illiterate people to be able to sign important paperwork. A seal would be created by pressing the engraved ring into the wax.
These rings are solid metal with a flat top that features the wearer’s initials. They could have a coat of arms or family crest instead. Over time, they morphed into a status symbol for the wealthy and elite.
To wear a signet ring, it should be placed on your little finger.
This style of ring features the wearer’s birthstone or their family member’s birthstones. This creates a customized piece of jewelry that can remind the person wearing it of the people they love so much.
- January: Garnet
- February: Amethyst
- March: Aquamarine
- April: Diamond
- May: Emerald
- June: Pearl
- July: Ruby
- August: Peridot
- September: Sapphire
- October: Opal
- November: Citrine
- December: Blue Topaz
Creating a birthstone ring is a special experience and one that’s personal. There are countless different types of rings that you can choose to place your birthstone in.
Current students and alumni wear a class ring to commemorate their graduation from a particular educational institution. This is done at the high school, college, and university levels.
Most students customize their rings by choosing the material and center gemstone. The ring will also feature the school’s name, student’s graduation year, and other identifiers.
Similar to a class ring, people wear membership rings to represent their belonging to a particular organization. This typically a fraternal organization. The ring will feature the organization’s insignia instead of a gemstone.
Vintage and Estate Rings
The type of ring can encompass any of the above types or any other type of ring not listed. These are rings that someone owned and worn and then passed on to someone else either by sale, gift, or inheritance.
Most rings qualify as estate rings, but when they are 30 to 100 years old, they become vintage. This means that rings from the 1920s or earlier can have the label of vintage.
Explore These Different Types of Rings
As you can see, there are several different types of rings. Each one symbolizes an emotion, relationship, or accomplishment. This is a beautiful way for you to commemorate important events in your life.
While the traditional rules can provide meaning and guidance, modern trends are to deviate from them. Try incorporating tradition with modern trends and your personal style. This will create a unique ring that you’re sure to cherish and love for years to come.
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