Rings have been used forever. They have existed throughout human history one way or the other. Whether it was to symbolize something or as a status symbol, rings are and will be an integral part of human lives. The only difference is what they signify. In ancient times, rings symbolized power, authority, favor, love, promise, and many different things. And while not all of those meanings have transitioned to the modern era, some have remained unchanged. And in this article, we will go through different rings and what each of them signifies.
Engagement Ring: When people talk about rings, the most obvious example that springs up in anyone’s mind is either an engagement ring or a wedding ring. They are considered to be a symbol of love and affection towards your significant other. The history of engagement rings dates back to the Roman empire, where wives wore rings attached to small keys, which dictated their husband’s ownership. The custom took hold amongst the Europeans when Archduke Maximillian of Austria commissioned a diamond engagement ring for his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy, in 1477. From there on, engagement rings have been used as a symbol of love and commitment towards each other.
Wedding bands: Although rings are worn both by men and women when it comes to wedding bands, the tradition used to be only for women. However, for the last century, men have worn wedding bands to show love and loyalty. A wedding band signifies a contract of matrimony between two people. The origin of this custom dates back to the early Christian era where married couples exchanged vows at their weddings using symbols like bracelets, necklaces, or leather straps which were referred to as ‘fetters.’ However, during the 15th-century metal bands started being used instead of other objects that represented marriage contracts.
Anniversary Rings: Anniversary rings are nothing but wedding bands that signify the renewal of vows between two people. It marks the number of years they have been together and that the love continues to hold true for each other even after all these years. Usually, diamonds or some precious stone are used in the anniversary ring to symbolize everlasting love for each other.
Promise Ring: A promise ring, also referred to as a purity ring, is given by one person (usually a boy) towards another (usually a girl). The purpose behind giving such kind of rings vary from religion, culture, and personal beliefs. They can be non-religious, like casual friendship rings where the couple might want to show support and commitment towards each other. But whatever may be the reason, promise rings have been a part of human culture for thousands of years.
Graduation Ring/ Class Ring: Graduation rings are more of a customary tradition where universities distribute them to students who have completed their graduation. They signify the completion of a degree or coursework and serve as an emotional reminder for all the hard work put in by students during their tenure at university. While graduation rings are worn mostly after graduation, some students wear them before graduation. However, they wear them with the insignia facing towards the owner. This tells them what they are working for and what they need to achieve. After completing graduation, the ring is turned around like a badge of honor.
Claddagh Ring: Claddagh ring is an Irish custom where a man gives this ring to his girlfriend when he wants her hand in marriage. The history of Claddagh rings dates back to the 17th century where it was used by sailors, traders and fishermen while venturing out at sea. Nowadays, the tradition has become more popular among couples who are about to get married or have just got engaged with each other.
Signet Ring: Signet rings are also referred to as seal rings or siege rings. During medieval times, men and women used them to stamp wax, which would serve as a sign of authenticity for their deeds, contracts, etc. Signet rings have been discontinued now since people started using signature pens instead, but you can still spot some signet rings that have been passed as heirlooms.
Birthstone Rings: Birthstone rings are popular among men and women who wear them with their outfits to add color and extra detail. These rings can be customized according to a person’s birth month so that they appear unique. While some wear birthstone rings out of fashion, others believe that birthstones bring good luck to the wearer when worn correctly.
Mood Ring: Mood rings were popular in the 70s and 80s when it was believed that the stone’s color changes according to the wearer’s mood. This springs from the fact that the ring changed color depending on temperatures. While most of this was used to create hype, some people still swear by their power to predict future events which might affect the person wearing them. Mood rings are mostly worn around fingers, but many variations have been designed especially for their use.
Spinner Rings: Spinner rings are one of the latest trends in the jewelry industry, and they have quickly become a part of the fashion vocabulary. These rings come with an extra jewel fixed on them that can be rotated around the main ring. It is used to add style, glamor, and uniqueness.
Rings are a symbol of commitment, but not all rings signify the same thing. Understanding what your ring means can help you decide if it’s right for you or someone else. Whether you’re looking to buy one for yourself or purchase one as a gift, knowing how different types of rings are used in relationships can help guide your decision-making process and ensure that this precious piece is being given with the proper sentiment behind it!