It is a common fallacy that jewelry is only for women and makes males look more effeminate. Indeed, jewelry has been worn by men for millennia and can be used to reflect personal tastes and values, wealth and in some cases, social status. One of the most common types of jewelry worn by men is a ring. There are lots of different types of ring available, and in this article, we will explore some of the classic styles and designs.
Classic rings make a big statement about an individual with the most common styles being the traditional band; some will incorporate jewels, engravings or other designs, while others remain plain. The purpose of the ring will probably dictate its style so; firstly, here are some of the most common types of ring for men.
- Signet Rings
Signet rings are one of the most commonly owned male rings and are often worn by students and younger men. Typically, they will be made from gold and worn on the right ring finger, on the little finger, often referred to as the “pinky” finger on either hand or occasionally, on the index finger. Signet rings often carry a motif such as for a football team, a school or club with perhaps an engraving included. It is quite rare for signet rings to be plain.
- Wedding Rings
Wedding rings signify that a man is married. In western society, they are worn on the ring finger of the left hand. Male wedding rings are classically a plain metal band which was traditionally gold but more recently; platinum and tungsten have been used. Some men also opt to include a gemstone in their wedding ring with diamonds being the most popular, but emeralds are also making a re-emergence.
- Pinky Rings
Pinky rings have been worn for centuries and sit on the little finger of either hand. They are generally relatively small, so they don’t interfere with day-to-day activities. Pinky rings can be made from almost any material with gold and platinum being the most common, but leather is also another option, particularly in some cultures.
- Thumb Rings
Thumb rings were often worn by men who wanted to wear a ring but preferred it to be a little more discrete. They often have some sentimental meaning, although, in recent years, they have started to become flashier and more of a fashion statement. Thumb rings are usually gold, but silver, platinum and even stainless steel are not unheard of. It is all a matter of taste and will be dependent on if the ring is a fashion statement or carries some deeper meaning.
Different Types of Metal
Men are almost unlimited in the type of metal that they can use for their ring. Yellow gold is still the most popular and would be described as the classic style, but there are lots of other options available.
- White Gold
White gold is an alloy meaning that it is pure gold mixed with another metal such as nickel, copper, silver or platinum. As white gold is an alloy, it is more robust than pure gold so more suited to men that do manual work. As such, it is often regarded as being quite masculine. White gold can be used as the base metal for any of the rings mentioned above.
Platinum is a durable, rare and valuable metal is which is usually mined in South Africa. In a similar fashion to white gold, it is ideal for men who work with their hands. Platinum is commonly the base metal in men’s rings which contain gemstones, and it is less prone to damage. It would certainly be regarded as a classic ring, and most men are proud to own one.
Titanium is an incredibly light metal but one that has a similar strength to steel. It oozes masculinity and is frequently used in men’s wedding rings. Titanium is a very expensive metal, but it suits the more refined gentleman who appreciates quality and wants something more sophisticated than silver.
Silver has been used in male rings for as long as gold and can be dated back over 4,500 years. Silver is generally inexpensive in comparison to the other metals mentioned above but still has a very chic appearance. Silver is commonly used in simple rings such as signet rings; pinky rings and thumb rings although it is less frequently used for wedding rings.
The classic ring designs remain constant throughout the generations. However, the types of metal that are used an, in some cases, there meaning may vary. Whatever, ring you decide to get him for Father’s Day, it will carry some sentimental value.