From simple cocktail rings to wear on special occasions to the always important engagement rings and wedding sets, rings have been around for centuries and there are more than 30 different versions of rings, the most popular piece of jewelry to be worn by both men and women.
Rings date back nearly 5,000 years since it is believed that the ancient Egyptians were the first ones to exchange rings that were made of leather or woven reeds to express their love and devotion for one another. They were shaped in a circle, as they are now since a circle is seen as a powerful symbol.
Rings are a pretty common piece of jewelry and most people have at least one. From sealing the deal during a wedding ceremony to the engagement ring leading up to a wedding, rings are a classic and beautiful piece of jewelry.
My first ring was a birthstone ring that my parents bought me when I was seven for my birthday. I wore the dainty little gold plated ring with the peridot stone that stood for August everywhere I went. The first ring I remember being infatuated with that was a huge trend when I was a young girl was the mood ring.
My friends and I all had one because if you didn’t have a mood ring you didn’t have anything. Those were fun but as we got older, the ring to have was a promise ring from a boyfriend and, of course, the wearing of your boyfriend’s class ring was a big deal also. It was even more exciting to go with your parents to the jewelry store, or looking through the catalog from the company your school chose, to create and order your own class ring.
Many people would choose their birthstone as the centerpiece of their class ring but I did not. My birthday is in August and I have never really cared for the peridot green color that represents that month so I went with a pink color. I think it is more representative of the October birthstone but it is a pretty color and I really liked it.
Instead of the common silver plated band, I went with a rose gold color and since I twirled the baton, a majorette was placed on one side of the ring with an eagle underneath the stone which was my school’s mascot.
Rings can be fun and exciting. A promise ring represents the promise of more serious things to come, such as an engagement ring. The engagement ring usually has some sort of band that you can purchase with it that will one day become the wedding band during your ceremony but you can also purchase them separately too.
After the wedding, many brides opt to have their wedding and engagement rings soldered together to ensure they will not come apart, causing them to lose one of the rings. This also helps keep small particles out of the area between the two rings. For example, if you are making a meatloaf and forget to take your rings off first, you will not have a bunch of hamburgers stuck on the inside areas of both rings.
Below is a list with descriptions of 32 different types of rings to increase your knowledge and appreciation for one of the most beautiful and meaningful pieces of jewelry that we have almost at our fingertips and can purchase not only at jewelry stores but online and at many other stores, including Walmart and Target.
- Various Types
- Birthstone Ring
- Bridal Set
- Antique Ring
- Anniversary Band
- Band Ring
- Claddagh Ring
- Cluster Ring
- Engagement Ring
- Cocktail Ring
- Three Stone Ring
- Contemporary Ring
- Classic Solitaire Ring
- Halo Ring
- Side Stone Ring
- Princess-Cut Ring
- Cushion Cut Ring
- Estate Ring
- Eternity Band
- Wedding Band
- Flexible Ring
- Gimmel Ring
- Nugget Ring
- Mother’s Ring
- Mood Ring
- Posy Ring
- Promise Ring
- Vintage Ring
- Puzzle Ring
- Semi-Mount Ring
- Signet Ring
- Spinner Ring
- Stack Ring
- Five FAQs About Rings
Birthstone rings boast a metal band with the stone that represents the month of the wearer’s birthday month or their family’s birth months. These are used both for personalized jewelry and for a reminder of each person’s birthday in the family.
There are twelve stones that can be placed in birthstone rings, one for each month. From the garnet of January to the opal for October, there is a stone that represents each month of the year to encompass everyone’s special day.
A bridal set and, also known as a wedding set, normally includes a bride’s engagement ring along with the matching band that is given to her later on her wedding day by her new husband. They can be purchased together and even soldered together by a jeweler to ensure that neither ring is lost and to keep debris and tiny particles from getting stuck between the two rings.
Many bridal sets fit together to form some type of pattern that results in a gorgeous ring that lets other people know that the woman is married who is wearing it. Some sets are simple and timeless with the solitaire diamond engagement ring and a plain band for the wedding piece to the set or they can boast a single diamond in the middle surrounded in a circle surrounded by smaller diamonds.
This pattern would be half-circle or another pattern until the day of the wedding when the other half is placed on the bride’s finger. This type of ring is very symbolic as it stands for the love and commitment of a marriage between two people.
An antique ring is a ring that at least 100 years old and many are older, coming from the Victorian, Georgian, or Edwardian eras. Some antique rings even date back to the art deco era and are amazingly unique and beautiful. Like an antique car, there are certain criteria that must be met for the ring to be considered an antique ring.
Rings from the time period of the 1920s are just now becoming antique rings. Some of these types of rings are handed down for generations in a family and others can be purchased from different types of sales, including estate sales.
An anniversary band is a ring given from one spouse to another to signify and commemorate a wedding anniversary. Traditionally, most people prefer a diamond ring be given but some opt for turquoise, emerald, jade, or other stones to be featured in the ring setting.
Most come in a channel set which means there are two vertical metal walls that are joined together or a three-stone set with prongs on each side to represent the past, present time, and the future.
A band ring can feature a plain metal ring with no extra adornments or a band with an engraving, certain stones, or other things that represent something the wearer is passionate about in their life. A band can be as simple or complex as the wearer prefers and can feature gold, silver, or even titanium. In today’s market, there are even bands made of plastic resin that provide a more artistic style, silicone bands better more comfortable to wear, and even band rings made of a rubber material.
The Claddagh ring is a historical ring that comes from Ireland. During medieval times, this ring was originally given as an engagement or wedding ring. A Claddagh ring stands for loyalty, friendship, and love. It boasts a heart that represents love, a crown for loyalty, and a pair of hands which represent the friendship piece. These types of rings can feature a simple metal band or can sport jewels around the band that adorns the entire ring.
A cluster ring features a main stone in the center of the ring, most often a diamond gamma Ann is then surrounded by a halo of smaller versions of the same stone that is in the center. In previous times, these types of rings featured a Ruby or emerald but recently diamonds have made a comeback and taking the center stage of this beautiful ring.
An engagement ring Is an exciting ring to get from someone you love because it means that person wants to spend the rest of their life with you. Once you accept the ring, it is expected that eventually you will get married to the person who gave it to you and it represents basically the agreement between the two people.
It is normally worn on the left ring finger and will be part of a wedding set in the future. There are an array of styles and features to choose from when it is time to pick out an engagement ring.
During the prohibition era at the beginning of the 20th century, cocktail rings were a symbol that the woman wearing them had wealth and power. These rings were not for everyday use but only worn for special occasions in one almost always worn on the right hand. They were made of a variety of materials and featured the stone that the women preferred, from rubies to diamonds and turquoise.
Three Stone Ring
The three-stone ring features three stones as its name suggests. These rings are sometimes given as an engagement ring or mother’s ring and are absolutely beautiful. This ring features three stones over the top of the ring in a variety of different settings, depending on preferences, and normally sport diamonds but actually, any type of stone can be used.
With clean lines, delicate curves, and a sleek design, a contemporary ring is more minimalistic in its design and style. is one that features clean lines, sleek design, and graceful curves. These rings can feature stones, such as diamonds or rubies, and wrap around the finger although the two ends of the ring do not meet. It can form a design or just be simplistic. It’s a very popular ring in today’s market amongst younger people.
Classic Solitaire Ring
A solitaire ring Is a very simplistic ring with a metal band that features one single stone of your choice although many people seem to prefer a diamond. This type of ring is offered more often than others as an engagement ring.
Boasting a single stone in the center surrounded by smaller stones of the same or similar type, a halo ring Is absolutely beautiful it is the feature of many wedding sets. The Halo ring many times features diamonds and the Halo can be formed by putting two rings together or with a single ring.
Side Stone Ring
Similar to a solitaire ring, a side stone ring boasts one single stone set in the center of a band but also features several smaller stones down the side of the band area. This ring has more sparkle and pizazz than a simple solitaire ring with the stones matching the center stone, or not. You can opt to have different stones down the side of the band if you prefer. This is a fun and gorgeous ring to wear everywhere you go.
A princess-cut engagement ring is one of the most popular cuts when it comes to diamond rings. It features a stone that’s cut into the shape of a square and boasts a pyramid profile, making it a very popular choice for three-stone rings, side stone rings, and single solitaire rings. It catches the light and reflects more than other cuts which may be the attraction to this gorgeous ring.
Cushion Cut Ring
Featuring either a square or rectangular cut with rounded corners that taper down to provide a puffy appearance for the stone, a cushion cut engagement ring is currently one of the most popular rings on the market today. To find a cushion cut ring without having one specially made, you can check at places that sell antique and vintage rings along with your local Jewelers although many jewelry stores do not carry them.
If a ring has been worn before and has a previous owner, it can be considered an estate ring. While many people classify vintage and antique rings under the estate rings category, most jewelers will stop referring to them as such once a ring hits 30 years of age or more. Reproduction rings can also be considered estate rings. Just ask the jeweler you are shopping with for details on a ring’s history when you see it marked as a state if you are not sure what you were getting.
An eternity band is a ring that boasts a set of diamonds that wrap all the way around to represent eternal love. While many people find eternity bands to be similar to wedding bands, they are not the same in the fact that a wedding band only has stones that wrap halfway around but not all the way like this ring does.
Most of the time, an eternity band will feature round diamonds but some other cuts and stones are used as well. This ring makes a great gift on special occasions, including an anniversary or the birth of a child.
The wedding band was created as a very simple ring for a man to wear to signify that he is married or engaged. In today’s world, both the man and the woman in a wedding ceremony give each other a wedding band to signify their eternal love for one another.
These bands can be plain and made of solid metal or other materials, including plastic resin and rubber. Many of the women’s versions have gemstones, including diamonds, embedded in the band that when put together with the engagement ring create a pattern of some sort.
Flexible rings Are not your average ring and are not made of solid metal like most rings. They are designed by using flat, intertwined links that will move and flex with the movement of your finger. Some of these rings are completely flexible all the way around the band while others are only flexible in one part of the band.
These rings are a great option for people who have medical conditions that cause pain and swelling in their fingers so that the ring will adjust to the changes and not become too tight.
Made up of two to three links that connect together to make a solid circle, the gimmel ring was very popular back in the days of Elizabethian England and was once referred to as joint rings. They were used as betrothal rings during that time period as each person would wear one link until the wedding when they would join them together. For three-link rings, a witness would hold the third piece until the day of the wedding ceremony.
Mostly considered a man’s ring and even used as an engagement ring for men, the nugget ring is normally made of a gold band with a rough, rocky texture on the top side. These rings are made from gold most often and are very simple in their design although some do boast diamonds and other gems in their setting. They are very popular as a man’s engagement ring and today’s market.
A mother’s ring is a very popular gift for mothers and grandmothers, especially on Mother’s Day. The ring is created in different variations and incorporates the birthstones of the woman’s children and/or grandchildren. The birthstones represent both children who are still living and ones that have passed away.
The stones can be set into one band or several stackable bands and may also feature the names of the woman’s children and grandchildren engraved beside each birthstone. This is a very special ring that is coveted by many women throughout the world.
A mood ring is a fun option when it comes to jewelry. These rings feature a special type of liquid crystal in the center of the ring that will change colors based on the temperature of the person’s finger which is said to then display the person’s mood. These rings can feature a simple band or a band with a stone and some even have engravings or other designs to further enhance its look and style.
Traditionally a type of ring that was exchanged between courting couples during the 17th century in both England and France, the posy ring is a simple gold finger ring that contains some type of inscription either on the outside or the inside of the band. To many people who have this ring, the inscription is extremely important to them and near and dear to their heart.
A promise ring is given to a boyfriend or girlfriend as a symbol of commitment in a relationship. Many younger people consider it a promise to be married to the person one day in the future in essence, the ring before the engagement ring. It can also simply mean that one person is promising their faithfulness to the other in their relationship.
Much like an antique ring, a vintage ring is older and has normally been owned and worn by others in the past. To be considered a vintage ring, though, the ring must be between 30 and 100 years old. Currently, rings that were sought-after and worn in the 1920s are approaching the 100-year mark.
Puzzle rings are really fun because they provide you with a brain teaser as well as a piece of jewelry. They are made up of interlocking bands that you can take apart then put back together in a pattern that you like and enjoy. They normally contain two or more bands and most come with six bands.
A semi-mount ring is it a great option for someone who has a gemstone already but wants to put it into a ring setting since the semi-mount ring has the design down pat and accent stones but no main stone is already in place. You get to choose a setting that you enjoy to be featured in this ring.
Signet rings were created to be an option many decades ago when many people could not read enough to be able to sign important paperwork. Over the years, they have transformed into a status symbol of powerful and wealthy people and are popular for the sense of style they provide. These rings feature metal bands with the wears initials engraved into a flat and spot on the top part of the ring.
Spinner rings are made of two bands that feature one band that is set in place on your finger while the other band is layered on top of it and can spin around your finger. This type of ring is very helpful for people who have symptoms of anxiety or post-traumatic stress syndrome since they will have something to focus on when feeling stressed out.
A stacking ring features several very thin rings that you can stack up on each other to make a wider ring for a bold look in a fun way to wear jewelry. These rings are available in an array of designs and you can mix and match with other stacking rings for a very different looking style. These rings are great for men or women (see our ring size chart here) and very popular among teenagers too.
Five FAQs About Rings
How is a ring supposed to fit?
A ring should fit snug around the base of your finger without any bulging and it should not leave any indentation marks. To check to see if it fits correctly, simply push your ring up from the underneath part of it and see if there is a small space between your ring and your finger to ensure there is enough room.
What if a ring does not fit correctly?
If you receive a ring as a gift and it does not fit properly, you can take it to a jeweler to have it resized to fit your finger properly. The most common type of ring brought to jewelers to be resized is the engagement ring since the giver of the ring may not know the recipient’s ring size.
Does resizing a ring devalue it?
If you have to take your ring to a jeweler for resizing, do not worry too much about it affecting the value of your ring. This type of repair is usually undetectable and the ring will still have all of its original hallmarks and features. If your ring is resized to become an average ring size it may actually be worth a little more than it was before the resizing took place.
On which finger can you wear a fraternal ring?
A fraternal ring is normally worn on the man’s index finger. if the ring is more broad and bulky, it can even be worn on the man’s thumb.
What does pavé mean in jewelry?
While this term can sometimes be confused with the word pave which means street paving in French when it comes to jewelry, pavé refers to the beautiful effect of paving the surface of some type of jewelry with many small diamonds.
This is normally done by a jeweler drilling holes directly into the metal of the ring then fitting and laying the diamonds into those holes, kind of like placing cobblestones to make a sidewalk. It creates a gorgeous visual effect that is eye-catching and stunning. It will definitely turn some heads.