There’s a good chance the person reading this right now is wearing one or more rings. Whether it’s to celebrate romance, memorialize an achievement, or simply serve as part of a fashion ensemble, the reasons we wear rings are as varied as the rings themselves.
A popular personal adornment for centuries, rings generally symbolize something, from wealth and power to love and commitment. As a result, there are numerous styles, all of which can be further customized to reflect specific sentiments and styles.
Of course, rings can also be worn for the sake of fashion. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at seven different ring styles:
As the name suggests, solitaire rings feature a single gemstone set in a simple band. The solitaire style is popular for engagement rings. As a result, the gemstone is almost always a diamond. However, many solitaire rings feature other gemstones, such as emerald and sapphire. The band is almost always gold but can be silver or platinum. Due to their minimalist design, solitaire rings tend to be one of the more affordable styles available.
A style that dates back to ancient times, signet rings were meant to serve as a seal to be pressed into wax as a signature. They were typically worn by rich and powerful men of noble birth. Thousands of years later, mens signet rings remain a potent status symbol representing authority, confidence, and strength. Design-wise, signet rings often feature a flat surface that can be custom engraved with initials, family crests, or some other form of identifying marker.
Cocktail parties are often lavish but also laid back. It can be said the cocktail ring style aspires to achieve the same combination of adjectives. This often translates to bold and colorful designs featuring oversized components. However, cocktail rings can also be delicate and intricate in their design. Due to their intentionally ostentatious nature, most people wear cocktail rings that fall into the costume jewelry category. However, it’s not unheard of for someone to have one or two cocktail rings made from high-grade gemstones and precious metals.
Considered a cousin of the solitaire style, halo rings feature a single gemstone placed in the center. The only difference is that, unlike solitaire rings, halo rings include a ring of smaller stones surrounding the central gem (hence the name.) Depending on the design elements, halo designs are often worn as an engagement ring but can also be worn for the sake of style. In addition to diamonds, which are typically used for engagement rings, a halo can include a combination of gemstones placed in mesmerizing patterns, surrounding a central emerald, ruby, or sapphire stone.
The eternity ring design features a continuous row of gemstones set around the entire band. The gemstones are typically identical in size but can vary in terms of type, with countless pattern possibilities. For example, the stones could be placed in an alternating diamond, emerald, and sapphire pattern. Furthermore, it’s not unusual for eternity rings to be worn as two or three stacks on the same finger. This opens the door to a number of design options as eternal as the design itself.
As the name suggests, cluster rings feature multiple gemstones arranged close together. The result is a shimmering cluster with an almost crystal-like appearance. Cluster ring designs are often elaborate in nature, featuring letters and shapes mean to signify a specific achievement or association. As a result, cluster rings are often used to celebrate sports championships and other major milestones. However, cluster rings can also be worn as a form of statement jewelry in certain situations.
There are, of course, more than seven styles of ring. For example, the Bishop ring style is defined by its massive oval gemstone. However, the seven styles mentioned above represent the most popular ring styles.
People have been wearing rings for thousands of years. The result is diversity in terms of style and design. While not everyone wears rings – and those who do may do so because of custom rather than style – rings remain a signature component of human culture. It could even be said that rings are the gold standard of jewelry due to their popularity and enduring significance.
Vivien Bell is a freelance writer from Maryland. She enjoys writing about education, family, home living, and pet care.