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Which Rings Go on Which Fingers?
In modern times, you can wear a ring on any finger and add the finishing touch to your outfit. However, different rings were traditionally supposed to be worn on each finger. Here is a guide to which ring goes on which finger.
The Little Finger
In palmistry, the little finger is said to represent the element of Mercury. It symbolizes intelligence and persuasion. Wearing a ring on this finger can also denote the artistic qualities of the wearer and their ability to be a good communicator.
A ring worn on the little finger can symbolize the profession of the wearer. In North America, engineering graduates receive a ring from the Order of the Engineer made of iron or steel. This is traditionally worn on the little finger of the dominant hand. Similarly, geophysicists receive a silver earth ring that is also worn on this finger.
The little finger doesn’t have an important cultural or religious meaning, but rings worn on this finger can be unusual outside of some professions,4 so wearing one can often be a statement and something that will get you noticed. Rings designed to fit this finger are often elaborate in design to help you stand out from the crowd.
The Fourth Finger
This finger is often called the ring finger as it is closely associated with wedding symbolism, and an engagement ring is also worn on this finger. Traditionally, it was believed that a nerve runs straight from the heart to this finger, so it made sense for a wedding ring to be worn on the finger that connects to the heart.
Wedding bands are usually quite plain, but engagement rings can be more elaborate.
In North America, wedding rings are worn on the left hand, but in countries such as Norway and Cuba, it is traditional to wear them on the right hand.
The ring finger is associated with the Earth’s moon, creativity, and beauty.
The Middle Finger
This finger has ties with the planet Saturn, so rings made out of lead are often worn on this finger. It is said to symbolize balance and responsibility.
The middle finger is not a common finger to wear a ring on as its proximity to the index finger makes it harder for the wearer to carry out manual tasks.
It is the predominant finger on your hand, so if people do wear a ring, such as this White Swarovski Elements Ring, here, they are often making a fashion statement. Alternatively, a ring on this finger can mean that the wearer does not want to cause any confusion about their marital status.
The Index Finger
The index finger is associated with Jupiter, which is linked to leadership, authority, and power. Rings designed to be worn on this finger are often made of bright silver.
According to the theory of Yin and Yang, the left hand symbolizes yin energy and the right hand symbolizes yang energy. Therefore, wearing a ring on the left index finger is a sign of the willingness to accept guidance from the leadership of others. The index finger on the right hand symbolizes leadership and responsibility.
Historically, the index finger was the one on which kings, queens and other nobility displayed their family crest on signet rings. Rings were a symbol that denoted family status, so it was forbidden for people to wear them if they were below a certain rank.
In modern times, the index finger is still a good place to display a family crest, class ring or fraternity ring. People often wear a bigger ring, such as this Classical Unisex Band Ring, on this finger to look proportional as it is the most predominant finger, and it is the most common finger for a man to wear a ring.
A thumb ring is a sign of wealth and influence. Traditionally this was because the thumb is the biggest digit on your hand, which means you would need a bigger and therefore more expensive ring to adorn it.
The Ancient Greeks associated a thumb ring with manliness, dignity and power. In other cultures, it was seen as a sign of friendship.
In modern times, thumb rings are still quite unconventional in North America, although they are more common in other countries. They tend to be worn as a fashion statement and often have a plain design, such as a simple gold or silver band. The thinking behind this is that it is a big ring and therefore doesn’t need to be too extravagant.