The Language of Men’s Rings

| Men’s rings have long been one of the most popular masculine jewelry accessories. While a wedding band remains the most traditional choice, there are a wide variety of options from which to choose. Whether for yourself or someone special, these tips and tricks are your guides in choosing the best ring for him.

What are men’s rings?

Black tourmaline men's ring.
There are many popular definitions of what makes a ring masculine. But, when it comes down to it, a men’s ring is any ring worn by a man. Sounds simple, right? Now, more than ever, individual style is broader than before. With that in mind, you should always choose what you like, whether it makes you feel cool, confident, or holds a special significance. However, it’s still good to know what many consider to be a standard men’s ring.

From a traditional perspective, men’s ring typically features precise geometric features. The use of angles and sharp points of termination combine in creating bold, prominent styling. When set with gemstones, these rings favor square and rectangular shaped stones that pair well with the established aesthetic. Asscher cut gems, cushion cuts, and emerald cut gemstones have long been popular choices in men’s rings.

Rounded gems have their place too! Ovals, either faceted or as cabochons, continue to make a strong showing in men’s jewelry. Typically, they are found larger than their counterparts in women’s jewelry styles. Each has their benefits when used in rings, which is covered in more detail further below. Even a classic round brilliant jewel finds a home in modern men’s rings.

Gold and platinum continue to dominate in wedding band choice. In recent years, however, new metals have made a strong showing, including selections like titanium, tungsten, and stainless steel. These three metals are great options for men not used to wearing jewelry, as their robust nature prepares them for the rigors of daily wear. Overall, the same options exist for both men’s and women’s rings.

Most men’s rings range in size, anywhere from size 8 through size 14, which represent the majority of the population. Size 10 rings tend to be the most common for guys. And, at Shop LC, men’s rings start in availability at ring size 10.

On which finger should I wear a men’s ring?

Emerald birthstone men's ring.
Most of us already know that in Western culture, the wedding band is worn on the left hand, on the “ring finger.” But, have you ever wondered why? An old Roman belief suggests that the vein in this finger connects directly to the heart, like a “love pipeline.” Placing an engagement ring or wedding band here is a symbolic act, tapping into the romantic nature of the tradition. By the 16th century, scholars were calling it the vena amoris, otherwise known as the “vein of love.” Despite this, wearing a wedding band on the left ring finger is still a relatively modern tradition. In some religious practices, the wedding band rests on the right ring finger. And between the 18th and 19th century, many men would wear a wedding band on their left pinky finger. It would often be combined with a signet ring bearing a family crest, motto, or the individual’s initials, making these guys early ring stackers!

When it comes down to it, there are no hard-and-fast rules about how to wear a ring or any other jewelry! It’s a matter of personal taste and style of which jewelry is an extension. However, consider some of these tips when deciding on the kind of ring you want to buy.

Index Finger Rings

The index finger, or pointer finger, is one of your most used digits, along with the thumb. As many men’s rings are big and bold, this finger is a great choice for displaying chunky pieces. It’s a popular choice for class rings, society rings, and other pieces that signify membership in a group or association. The downside to this prominence is increased exposure to damage. Especially if you’re wearing a ring on your dominant hand, it will be exposed to more things that can potentially scratch the finish or chip a gemstone. Metals such as the previously mentioned stainless less, tungsten, and titanium are great choices to wear. Think about choosing a durable gemstone, too. Diamond, sapphire, ruby, jade are all good choices. They combine good toughness along with resistance to abrasion, ensuring that they can stand up to the rigors of your daily routine.

Middle Finger Rings

Maybe the most expressive finger, the middle finger is a surprisingly good choice for wearing a ring. For guys not wearing a wedding band, wearing a single ring on the left or right hand is comfortable, while providing a sense of balance. Like your index finger, a middle finger ring is a great place to display something prominent, but maybe more delicate. As a lesser used finger, metals like gold and silver are safe choices, along with softer gemstones. It’s a good choice for pairing with an accessory too, such as watches or bracelets. To even out the look, just wear it on your opposite wrist.

Ring Finger Rings

The ring finger is the most obvious choice for wearing a ring. In Western traditions, it’s the default finger for placing a wedding band or engagement ring. In most Christian cultures, the wedding band is worn on the left hand. However, this can work a little differently depending on where you’re living. Many Eastern European countries use the right hand for the wedding band.

Most people will read a left ring finger ring as a statement of being married. So, it’s suggested to avoid wearing a ring here unless you’re married. Adopting a men’s ring on the right ring finger is a good choice for a single ring, as it creates a symmetrical look that’s comfortable for daily wear.

If you’re pairing a ring opposite your wedding band, another simple band ring or solitaire ring are good choices. It adds a touch of flair without being too flashy, which easily stays within most guys’ comfort zone. A lot of experts will suggest matching metals too. However, mixing metals is approaching its peak, if it’s not there already, so don’t be afraid to experiment and choose something exciting and new.

Little Finger Rings

The little finger, or pinky finger, has long been a favorite choice for wearing men’s rings. Pop culture long ago cemented the idea of dangerous men flashing gaudy jewelry this way, from made-men to pimps, or any other kind of tough guy. Whether or not you agree with the image, pinky rings are an excellent way to wear the most ostentatious jewelry.

If you dress conservatively for work, or simply prefer the style, a pinky ring is an easy way to inject a small amount of flash into your daily routine. These rings are the best place to wear your most outrageous items, making them the perfect home for things like birthstone rings or icy diamond jewelry.

Since the little finger gets used the least, even the softest metals are great choices. Sterling silver and plated rings are safe bets for even very active guys.

Thumb Rings

Like index finger rings, thumb rings are one of the best places for displaying big rings. Since your thumb gets lots of action, you’ll want to choose a durable metal and gemstone for this piece. Thick bands and prominent statement pieces are your best choice to make a splash.

How do I choose a men’s ring?

London blue topaz and gold men's ring.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a new ring. Think about its purpose. Is it for a special occasion, or maybe your new daily statement piece? Will it need to withstand hard wear? Do I want a precious gemstone? What kind?

If you’re buying for yourself, your best bet is to have your fingers professionally sized by a jeweler. By using calibrated ring sizers, they will help you determine which ring sizes are the most comfortable fit. This is especially important, as lots of factors can affect how a ring might fit and feel. For instance, thicker bands will have a tighter fit. Also, the fingers on your dominant hand often run larger, meaning a half size to entire full size in difference!

If you’re buying a ring as a gift, durable metals are probably your best choice. No matter how he wears the ring, it should stand up to those challenges. Stainless steel, titanium, and tungsten all provide an excellent range of silver color in addition to significant scratch resistance. Gold isn’t off the table, however! Ion plated steel gives you that golden look without costing a bunch, or even with the same vulnerability. Genuine brilliant gold undergoes a unique process to bond to steel, providing the look of precious metal without the cost or hassle of care.

Not sure how big his ring finger is? Size 10 rings are a great choice if you’re not confident. Size 10 rings are one of the most common sizes for men. So, even if his ring finger isn’t a ring size 10, it’s likely to fit elsewhere.

Should you wish to choose a gemstone, diamonds are always a safe bet. Alternately, simulated diamonds give you that same look and style, while saving on cost. Or, choose a birthstone ring for your new statement piece. Modern birthstones are great choices for wearing whenever you like, so feel free to do so every day or just those special occasions.

Size 10 Rings: The Secret Sauce of Men’s Rings

Blue diamond women's eternity band ring.
While size 10 rings are the default size in men’s rings offered by Shop LC, they’re not just for men. Women’s sizes also scale up to this fit, providing ample options for risk takers. While many women’s rings might not be a guy’s preferred choice, solitaire rings and three stone rings are both good considerations. Besides, anyone with a slender finger greatly benefits from the styles frequently seen in women’s rings.

Besides those choices, plain band rings and other simple styles are often considered gender neutral. These are some of the best opportunities for anyone wanting to experiment and expand their fashion consciousness in baby steps.

No matter which kind of ring you decide to wear, men’s rings are the perfect entry-level accessory to developing your jewelry collection and experimenting with new styles.