A beginner’s guide to rings for men

While we might think it more common for women to wear jewelry, historically, men have worn rings for centuries, and the trend shows no signs of slowing, with ring-wearing more popular today than ever. A man can wear a ring for many reasons, although they often tend to be worn to help demonstrate wealth, belonging to a society or club, or – most commonly – to signify their marital status.

If you’re toying with the idea of wearing a ring, below are a few pointers that might help you decide which is right for you.

Does it matter which finger you use to wear the ring?

In the majority of the western world, the third finger on the left hand is usually reserved for a wedding ring (although many countries vary in this custom, so it’s always worth checking). Other than that, it makes little difference these days on which finger you choose to wear a ring – although, again, it may be worth checking the traditions of foreign countries.

Traditionally, rings worn on the first finger or pinky would often be engraved with a crest – usually called a signet ring – which could be used to ‘sign’ documents by pressing the logo down into a wax seal. As for the other fingers (or thumbs), with the exception of the wedding ring finger, there are no rules and no rights or wrongs when it comes to choosing.

Different types of men’s rings

As a general rule, most people consider there to be four main types of male rings available today:

Wedding ring: The wedding ring is the most common type of ring for men and is worn on the left hand, the third finger (again, it’s worth checking the customs of different countries). Male wedding rings are typically understated – usually a plain gold or silver band.

Signet ring: A signet ring is normally used to signify belonging to a club, society, college, etc. They are typically worn on the pinky or index finger.

Pinky ring: Normally, a pinky ring will be a signet ring, although this style is also now becoming common without a motif.

Thumb ring: Thumb rings have been growing in popularity in recent years.

Materials used in male rings

Rings can be produced from many different types of materials, but recently, there’s been a developing trend to diversify out of the traditional gold and silver variations into rarer metals. For example, ring producer uses less common materials ranging from tungsten to carbon fiber, wood, and silicone.

As a general guide, the main materials used in the production of men’s rings include:

Sterling silver



White gold


Tungsten/tungsten carbide

Marcasite (actually iron pyrite or, as it’s also known, fool’s gold)





In summary

Over the last few decades, the demand for men’s jewelry has exploded – particularly for rings and chains – and is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance. While some styles will inevitably wane in popularity due to changing fashions, if you opt for a simple, classic design, you should have no problems with the longevity of the ring you purchase.


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