Which Finger Should You Wear a Men’s Engagement Ring On?
It might surprise you that men’s wedding rings didn’t become a tradition in Western cultures until World War II when soldiers fighting overseas would wear rings as a sentimental token to remind them of their wives and families back across the pond.
Prior to the tradition of men’s wedding rings, men have worn many different kinds of rings throughout history and in many cultures. Sometimes these rings were fashion statements worn just to look good, sometimes they were practical and served a purpose such as to seal important documents, and sometimes they revealed something about their owner’s status or his social affiliation.
Whether you realize it or not, rings send a message to the people that notice you and whether it’s a direct message or a subliminal one—make no mistake about it—it tells a story. Knowing this, you can choose rings that have meaning to you to choose how you want to express yourself and provide a narrative for your identity, achievements, or life story.
In different cultures and social backgrounds, wearing rings on certain fingers has different meanings. Even though there are no rules for which finger for men’s wedding rings or men’s fashion rings is best, it’s good to have a short background to the meanings of fingers for rings so you can decide what suits you, to decide what you want your ring to mean and how to display it.
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- Wearing Rings On Different Fingers Meanings
- Pinky or the Little Finger
- Ring Finger
- Middle Finger
- Index Finger
- How Many Rings Can a Man Wear On His Hand?
- Ring Wearing Tips for Men
Wearing Rings On Different Fingers Meanings
The question is, which finger to wear the ring on? Men’s ring fashion which finger? Let’s talk a little bit about your digits and what types of rings were traditionally worn on each.
As mentioned earlier, these are only traditional suggestions, and unless you are given specific instructions by your club or society (such as Masonic rings) on which finger you should wear the ring on, feel free to improvise and add your own style and flair.
What Finger Does Men’s Wedding Ring Go On?
In the U.S., most men will wear their wedding band on their left ring finger, but in other cultures, such as Eastern Orthodox marriages, men often wear their wedding band on the right finger. There are many other ways to wear wedding rings—for example, Charles, Prince of Wales wears his wedding band stacked over his pinky ring on his little finger, as a royal tradition.
The answer to which finger for men’s wedding ring comes down to a mix of your own preferences, comfort, and style.
Which Finger Men’s Engagement Ring?
It’s a growing trend for men to wear engagement rings. I mean, why not. Back in the day, men wore all kinds of meaningful rings that came before engagement rings. From “Regards” rings to “Dearest” acrostic rings, to “Gimmel Rings” or “Fede rings”, which consisted of two twin rings that linked through hands, to symbolize unity—men don’t need to have a solitaire diamond ring as an engagement ring. It can be far more low-key, meaningful, or over-the-top.
Currently, engagement rings for men don’t yet have a set tradition. So you can wear a men’s engagement ring on any finger you like; on the same finger as your wedding ring, on different hands, on different hands on the same finger, or anywhere else. Now let’s get into the different meanings for each finger for men’s rings.
Pinky or the Little Finger
One of the most popular fingers for a man to wear a ring (apart from the ring finger), the little finger is really great ring real estate for a couple of reasons. First of all, the Pinky is not associated with any religious, marital, or cultural symbolism, so it’s a great spot for a statement ring.
Second, the Pinky doesn’t have a finger on each side, so if you chose to wear more than one ring on that hand and don’t want the rings to rub against or scratch each other, it frees up more potential space for rings other fingers.
Third, because it’s the farthest from the body, a ring on that finger will not only be more noticeable but also allow you to wear something flashy like an intricate design or an ornate, bulky stone that’s out of the way, and unlikely to interfere in whatever craft you practice. Especially if you are a big mob boss, you know what I mean? Fuhgeddaboudit!
History and Meaning of Pinky Finger Rings
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But actually, though the mob TV shows don’t tell you this, the pinky was often used to wear a signet ring. The history of signet rings is fascinating. They were used to stamp the hot wax, sealing important letters as a sort of a one-of-a-kind signature bearing a family or a clan crest.
This was a way to tell if you were receiving the letter from the legitimate source as identification stamps were almost impossible to replicate and were often destroyed after the wearer had passed, so no one could steal his identity.
Pinky Ring Styles
Professional rings worn on the right pinky finger are typically made of gold, stainless steel, sterling silver, or other durable metals. In professions and college majors, a high-end pinky ring is a symbol of graduating with a degree. Black and gold pinky rings are a great gift for college grads and sharp-dressed professionals. Black diamonds and black onyx pinky rings are really in.
It’s popular to customize pinky rings to signify the specific meaning you have for it, since pinky rings are meant to last years and are often worn daily.
Have a look at our extensive collection of men’s pinky rings with real diamonds and gemstones, for some seriously striking style to stand out.
This finger is most often associated with...you guessed it, rings! No, but really, in many cultures, the meaning of wearing a ring on the ring finger is typically associated with relationships and marriage.
Promise ring and engagement rings are also often worn on the ring finger of the right hand (that’s right men too wear engagement rings), while a wedding band and engagement ring is often worn on the left hand. In western cultures, anyway.
History and Meaning of Ring Finger Rings
The ancient Egyptians started the tradition of wearing rings on the fourth finger of the left hand, which they believed held a significant vein connected directly to the heart. Their rings were made of woven grass, which is surprising since they liked gold so much.
These early rings represented the symbol of eternity and unity. A circle, like friendship, never ends. (Although, if they wanted their marriages and friendships to last longer, maybe they should’ve used some of that gold they had to make rings, rather than making gold masks for crocodile mummies. Hey, to each their own).
Even though no such vein exists (and no, working out won’t make it appear out of nowhere), the “vena amoris” as it was called, or “vein of love” is a meaningful idea, even if the Egyptians had it all wrong.
Men’s Gold Band Styles
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Today there are a lot of different styles and types of wedding bands and promise rings to choose from for each particular taste. They vary from thin plain gold and platinum bands, to diamond pavé, to even more creative custom-made rings that people design to suit their personality.
Are you a Game of Thrones fan? These days you have dragons coiled around your finger with sapphires for eyes if you wanted to. Or opt for colored gemstones, special designs, or other unique wedding bands for men. But even if you prefer a more modest look, you can still have a lot of options, even as far as the material it is made. (We offer men’s bands in yellow and white gold, rose gold, and platinum, just being a few). Check out our metals buying guide to decide which material is right for you.
And have a look at our ever-growing selections of men’s wedding rings and bands. Or, if you want to match your partner’s wedding band or promise ring, check out our matching wedding ring sets.
What could be said about the middle finger that it doesn’t already say for itself? It is your largest and longest finger and thus wearing a ring on it sends a bold message.
The middle finger is not a very popular finger for wearing rings, as certain rings can easily become uncomfortable there when you’re doing small, everyday manual tasks. However, because it is in the middle of your hand and looks masculine it can be a good choice.
Due to its central location, the Middle Finger represents responsibility and balance, but it is also edgy and masculine. A ring on this finger could be a great conversation starter for you.
If you want to put on multiple rings and don’t want the rings touching each other—keep in the mind the types of rings you’d choose for your adjacent index and ring fingers.
Middle Finger Ring Styles
You can really wear any type of ring on your middle finger. A popular choice for trending men’s rings in style right now are black onyx rings for men. If wearing other rings, a pinky ring will stay out of the way better.
You may wish to opt for thinner men’s rings to go next to the middle finger ring to avoid discomfort. You can browse our men’s rings by width size using our search filters.
Your Index Finger is a great place to wear a ring. With all the pointing and wagging about, the ring is sure to get noticed by everyone, probably more than on any other finger.
You would think that a ring on this finger would get in the way of things, but in fact, is much less cumbersome than a ring on the middle finger next to it. The index finger may not be as separated as the pinky, because it still has a finger on either side, but the thumb is far enough removed that the ring still stands on its own.
History and Meaning of Index Finger Rings
In some societies in the past, important family crests and signet rings were worn on the index finger, and simple plebs were not allowed to wear a ring on this finger at all!
It generally denoted a family’s status or crest and was therefore considered a symbol of power. Today you will see class rings, sports rings, membership rings, fraternity rings, or anything else that people want others to notice, on the index finger.
Index Ring Styles
Check out our colored diamond rings for men for a unique pinter finger-ring. Or, for relatively cheap men’s rings, check out our sterling silver rings for men. You can always customize your own ring with your initials, family crest, or other meaningful symbol.
Wearing rings on the thumb is not as common as rings on the other fingers today, probably due to the fact that we use our thumb in almost all daily manual tasks to grab on to things, and because of its girth being the thickest. These are all the same reasons why it was popular with rich and influential people of the past.
History and Meaning of Thumb Rings
For the noble and wealthy, the thumb ring was a great choice to be the bulkiest, thickest ring, and therefore the most expensive and outlandish way to show off their social status.
We also have to assume that these people had most manual labor tasks done for them, leaving their thumbs only to point up or down based on the satisfaction they received, but that’s a bit bossy (don’t let your thumb ring turn you into a jerk, just let it showcase your coolness).
Real talk, wearing a ring on the thumb is great if you wish to wear multiple rings on one hand without crowding them together. Also, a ring on this finger can make you look distinct and unconventional, showing people the more obscure qualities of your personality.
Thumb Ring Styles
When it comes to thumb rings, you can’t go wrong with any style, as long as it makes a statement. Check out our men’s fashion rings and filter according to width, price, metal, carats, and more.
If you’re looking for a ring to show off your social status, check out our most expensive men’s diamond rings, filtered by price high to low.
How Many Rings Can a Man Wear On His Hand?
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Some people think that wearing more than two rings on a hand is a crowd. But as fashion trends shift towards individuality and self-expression, those who are bold enough can easily rock multiple rings on a hand.
The outlandish, over-the-top statement rings are good on their own, or for covering your hand with. It’s all about preference really. If you’re asking men’s ring fashion what finger, or how many rings you can wear on one hand—your best bet is to follow your inclinations. Maybe this finger guide for men’s ring styles gave you inspiration, maybe it didn’t. We just want to help you represent your own style as best as you can.
Ring Wearing Tips for Men
Here are some tips for how to style men’s rings and how to wear rings to be stylish.
- Consider what you want your ring to mean or represent: cultural significance, personal meaning, family tributes, status symbol, or allegiance?
- Decide where it is most comfortable for you to wear a ring according to your lifestyle.
- Play around with wearing multiple rings. Some guys, such as rappers, musicians, and athletes, wear rings on every finger.
- Consider wearing your wedding band stacked on your pinky ring for multiple ring styles.
- Express yourself with unique diamond engagement bands for men—Brooklyn Beckham not only gave fianceé Nicola Peltz an emerald-cut solitaire diamond engagement ring; he’s seen sporting a diamond band with her engagement ring!
- Figure out which finger best shows off a statement ring, or which finger should have a more subtle or thinner style ring.
- Consider matching metal type and style with your ring collection, or go for a funky, mix-matched look.
Today’s world—thanks to fast travel and social media—is interconnected, and we constantly immerse ourselves in different cultures and their traditions. Men’s jewelry styles are branching out and diversifying. It’s no longer super popular for men to simply wear a gold wedding band and nothing else.
We were recently awarded the 2020 WeddingCouple’s Choice Award, an accolade honoring the top wedding professionals for quality, service, responsiveness, and professionalism reviewed by couples on WeddingWire. Our products are high-quality and far more affordable than standard retail stores. We have over 20 years of professional service manufacturing fine jewelry, to provide quality rings without high prices.
Whether you’re shopping for a men’s wedding ring, matching wedding ring sets, or engagement rings for men, or men’s fashion rings, here at ItsHot, we offer unique ring styles, as well as traditional rings, to fit any fashion or budget preferences.
Founder of ItsHot.com
Denis Stepansky is a founder of ItsHot, a diamond jewelry and watches store based in NYC. He has been in the jewelry business for about 20 years and owns such high-end jewelry brands as Luccello and Luxurman. As a jewelry expert, he has citations on well-known magazines and newspapers like Insider and Daily Mail.
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