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In daily life, you often only see one kind of ring worn, symbolizing people’s marriage or engagement with each other. But based on history and cultural beliefs, people can take different meanings from wearing rings on different fingers. So to help you understand these differences, here is the purpose of wearing rings on different fingers.

Diagram of Fingers for wearing rings on different fingers

Left Pinky Finger

The left pinky finger has shown marital status and mafia connections. Stemming from a 19th-century tradition, men might wear two rings on their pinky to signify their marriage. In these cases, the bottom ring would be the wedding band, followed by a signet above. In other cases, a pinky ring on the left hand has also come to signify mafia connections throughout U.S Culture. This trend results from movies and historical circumstances of famous mafia leaders.

Right Pinky Finger 

The right pinky finger is usually home to rings made of metals like silver, iron, and steel. These rings usually signify an accomplishment in a field, like a graduate degree or excelling in a particular profession.

Left Ring Finger

This finger has its name because here in the U.S., it is most well known for its cultural symbolism of relationship commitment. Most commonly worn on this finger are wedding bands, engagement rings, and promise and chastity rings. The origin of this tradition stems from ancient times when it was believed a vein called the Vena Amoris, otherwise known as “The Vein of Love,” connected this finger directly to the heart.

Right Ring Finger

Many cultures use this finger as a symbol of love and trust. In countries like Latvia, Hungary, and Greece, the wedding and engagement ring will be worn on this finger as a part of their oaths.

Custom Designed Rings – Adeler Jewelers

Left and Right Middle Finger

These fingers have the same meaning so we will discuss them together. These fingers are most often associated with identity. This finger is how people make statements using the ring that they wear. It is the centermost and most extended finger on your hand, so rings are worn on this finger to show who you are and symbolize power and confidence. Rings worn on these fingers are meant to be shown off.

Left Index Finger

Statement pieces are worn on this finger like large signet rings with gemstones. From older times, royalty often has worn large gemstone rings on this finger to establish their hierarchy and prowess. When asked to kneel and kiss the ring to show your allegiance, that would be this ring.

Right Index Finger

For most people, this finger will not hold any significant meaning. But in traditional Jewish practices, this finger is used to symbolize the commitment of marriage by wearing an engagement or wedding band on this finger. Most people are right-hand dominated, and the index is one of the most used fingers, so this ring would be easily seen and prominent, allowing the wearer to show off their commitment easily.

Left and Right Thumb

The Thumb ring is used to symbolize power and rank. Ancient warriors used thumb rings to indicate their experience and skill, and archers wore thumb rings made of leather to protect their fingers when using a bow. But this soon became an indication of their talent and profession and became a more prominent ring to create fear.

Find out more about Jewelry with some of our other blogs: Five Key Jewelry Trends for 2023