While some rings are worn to make a fashion statement, others carry a deeper symbolic meaning. An elegant band could signify your marital status, your religious views, or even your family heritage. In this article, we explore some of the most popular types of rings and their meaning.
In America, many young people wear a ring that carries a symbolic meaning to their high school. Often, the design features one of the elements that represent the school; for instance, a stone in one of the school’s colours or a mascot. Some Class Rings may include a symbol that represents the student’s school activities, such as a ball for soccer or a theatre mask for acting. Students can either purchase the Class Ring for themselves or gift the ring to a girlfriend or boyfriend to represent the fact that they’re dating exclusively.
A promise ring is often described as a pre-engagement ring. If a boyfriend is not quite ready to get married but wants to demonstrate his commitment, he may get his partner a promise ring. Resembling the promise to get engaged someday, this type of ring often includes a Pearl or a small Diamond.
An engagement ring is given as a promise to wed someday. Traditionally, a man gives this ring to a woman he intends to marry. Today, this ring often carries the most emotional weight, with some people considering it more important than a wedding band. For most couples, getting engaged seals their romantic relationship and tells the rest of the world that they are serious. The most common stone found in an engagement ring is a Diamond; however, coloured stones including Ruby and Sapphire are also appropriate. Sapphire has been popular ever since Prince Charles proposed to Lady Diana with a blue Sapphire ring surrounded by diamonds. More recently, the ring was given to Kate Middleton by Prince William. Those on a limited budget sometimes opt for a diamond alternative like Cubic Zirconia. Similar in appearance to Diamond, the average Joe wouldn’t know the difference.
Unlike the previous few, a Masonic reason doesn’t symbolise a romantic commitment. Instead, this style is known as a “signet ring” as it represents a sign of authentic affiliation to a group. While a signet ring can be worn by anybody, members of the Free Masons society often wear a Masonic ring to honour allegiance to their group. Typically, the ring will include the Masonic square and compasses and include the letter ‘G’ in the centre.
Purity rings first came about in the 1990s. Typically, they are worn by young people to pledge that they will remain a virgin until marriage. They are often engraved with the words ‘Love Waits’ or another message with similar meaning. Worn on the third finger of the left hand, purity rings are popular in religions where sex before marriage is frowned upon.
Once a couple gets married, they both wear a wedding ring to symbolise their commitment to one another. Traditionally, most wedding rings were a simple gold band. Today, on the other hand, these rings can be found in all different styles, with some elaborate designs including Diamonds. Much like an engagement ring, a wedding ring is worn on the third finger of the left hand. Years ago, it was believed that there was a vein running directly from this finger to the heart, and the tradition has remained ever since.
A symbol of eternal love, the eternity ring is given to a partner to celebrate a significant event; for instance, one may receive the ring on the birth of their first child or to mark a special anniversary. Unlike an engagement ring, there is no specific style for the eternity ring. However, most rings include a mixture of gemstones and gold or platinum. When choosing an eternity ring, it’s important to consider the design of your wedding band and engagement ring. As the three rings are worn together, the style of each piece should complement the others. While many people choose Diamond eternity rings, jewellery set with emeralds and rubies is also popular, especially amongst the older generation. Often, the different gemstones represent specific areas of the relationship.
The trilogy ring represents the past, present, and the future. Set with three stones, this type of ring is often given as an alternate engagement ring by those who prefer something a little different. When used for this purpose, the ring is often set with Diamonds and mounted on a white gold or platinum band. The three stones can either be the same size or different.
Once they’ve collected an engagement ring, wedding band, and eternity ring, some couples use an anniversary ring to celebrate another year of marriage. Often, an anniversary ring will represent either 5 or ten years of marriage, although the jewellery can be gifted at any time. The style of the ring all comes down to personal preference as there are no set rules. Some of the most popular rings are those with a single solitaire or a cluster of Diamonds. If you’ve got the budget, you may choose to get the ring custom made to fit alongside your existing engagement ring and wedding band.
Worn on the little finger, signet rings are usually engraved with an initial or design. Traditionally, the ring was known as a ‘Gentleman’s Ring’ and would include the family crest. The ring could then be pressed into wax to create a personal seal on important letters. Over time, this design has been replaced with a letter or initial to represent a personal signature.
From the promise to wed to a personal signature, rings can represent a number of different things. Popular amongst men and women alike, we can expect rings to stay popular for generations to come.