The history of rings dates back thousands of years to ancient times. In the beginning, people used natural materials to create jewelry, such as bones, wood, and stones. Then, they learned to use metals for many purposes, including creating ornaments and beautifying themselves.
Both men and women wore statement rings with the primary purpose of showing wealth, achievements, and social and marital status. Different styles, gemstones, and the ring’s position were symbols that represented the story about a person who wore them. During the last century, the statement ring has become popular, especially among women. So, what is a statement ring, what does it symbolize, and what kind of message does it display?
History of a Statement Ring
A statement ring is usually more massive than the usual models, so the primary reason for wearing it is to draw attention and send a message. The oldest known model originated in ancient Egypt.
Back then, only wealthy members of society could afford them, and that tradition continued throughout the mid-century. In many historical periods, the privilege to wear large, prominent rings with big gemstones belonged only to royal families and high-class members.
The 20th century brought a change in most societies all over the world. Among others, this was a period when women fought for equality with men and the right to vote. Many historians believe that nationwide Prohibition in the USA inspired many women to become rebellious.
So, they started to wear large rings on the right hand, especially when they went to parties. As soon as they came to the bar, they raised a hand with a massive ring on their fingers. It was a sign that the bartender should serve alcohol.
Therefore, this piece of jewelry got a nickname – cocktail ring. Wearing it also showed that a woman was independent. The primary reason for wearing these rings on the right hand was the necessity to distinguish the left one that was reserved for the wedding band and engagement ring.
The fashion of cocktail rings prolonged to the 1950s and 1960s, but then it lost popularity until the famous 1980s when they became a hit again. Nowadays, it is highly popular to wear a ring on every finger. The bigger the stone is, the better.
The ring-type you choose will always depend on your preferences. However, it is not always recommended to overwhelm your hands with oversized rings since too many big ones may send a wrong message.
Statement Ring and Modern Fashion
One of the first fashion icons was Coco Chanel. She created statement rings with crystal and colored glass and promoted a customed made jewelry. Later, Paco Rabbane used more affordable materials, such as glass and plastic, to create signature statement rings.
The latest jewelry trends allow freedom to create your unique style with either expensive jewelry or affordable rings. In this way, you can change your style according to the events and your everyday mood.
Materials used for fashion rings can be made of 9K gold, silver, or some other material of your choice. However, the most significant designers create statement rings of 14K or 18K gold or platinum. Of course, the selection of gemstones and materials will affect the price significantly.
Statement Ring Style
As I have already mentioned, today’s fashion has no limits and allows you to create your unique style. However, some of the primary rules still apply. For example, the choice of jewelry and dress-code for work or party should be appropriate according to the occasion.
Therefore, you should choose a minimalistic statement ring when you go to work. On the other hand, feel free to use large, bold, and glamourous rings for parties if your style requires them.
If you decide to play with styles and wear more than one ring, you can do so, but still, consider their color and size. It may be that one ring can make a more emphatic statement than putting all you have on.
Modern, fashionable statement rings can have a geometric or abstract style, with metal bands and scattered stones. Most of them have a diamond. However, women often choose other precious and semiprecious gems.
The most popular are pearl, ruby, fire opal, emerald, sapphire, aquamarine, amethyst, and tanzanite. The choice of gemstones is extensive, and the only limitation is your budget.
The Symbolism of Fingers
Besides the ring’s appearance, wearing a ring on a specific finger makes a statement as well, and the message that it displays is similar for both men and women. The usual placement of statement rings used to be on the right hand, but this has changed over time.
Nowadays, many people wear these rings on both hands, but placed on the right hand will be more visible since you use it more if you are right-handed.
However, you will see engagement rings and wedding bands on the right hand in some cultures and religions instead of left. So, the statement ring can be expected to be on the left hand when the woman wearing it is engaged or married.
I will give you some basic meanings for wearing the ring on a particular finger. That way, you can quickly decide which one you want to choose for wearing your statement ring:
The ring on the little (pinky) finger will be very visible. So, it is an excellent way to make a clear statement by placing a ring there. Some people connect the man wearing the ring on the little finger with a crime organization or even the mafia. You can also see it on many actors in movies and TV shows.
The ring always sends a message of independence when placed on the woman’s pinky. For men, it usually shows status and power. When it comes to a profession, engineers get a ring that should wear on a pinky finger after graduation. It is a clear sign of belonging to a particular profession.
The fourth, ring finger, is reserved for showing the marital status. Many men will choose a simple ring for that purpose. However, it is almost always glamorous, shiny, and prominent when it comes to women. Of course, that primarily depends on personal style and budget available.
Remember, in some cultures, the band on the right ring finger represents a marital status sign.
The middle finger doesn’t have a specific meaning. However, its central hand position is ideal for a bulky, fashionable statement ring that will contribute to your style. Plus, some people believe that the woman tries to send a message she is not engaged or married when wearing a ring on this particular finger.
Wearing the ring on the index finger usually shows a class, membership in some organization, or fraternity. It is a typical ring position for men.
The thumb is not the most common finger for a ring. When worn that way, it usually indicates independence and power. It can be an excellent place for a fashionable ring, as long as it doesn’t restrict your hand movements.
Suitable Ring Shape for Your Fingers
If a style is of great importance to you, consider your hand and fingers’ shape and choose the ring to enhance your look. In case your hands are petite, a small band or simple model will give the best result.
On the other hand, you can wear large rings if your fingers are long. Wide fingers provide enough space for rings that cover their whole width. Short fingers will visually elongate if you select the long-shaped ring.
The Statement Ring as a Cocktail or Dinner Ring
Initially, the cocktail ring featured a large diamond surrounded by several smaller ones. Indeed, this was an easy way to draw attention while drinking cocktails and dance at the party.
The fun fact was that the cocktails were primarily created to soften the unpleasant taste of booze during Prohibition. Once that period was over, cocktail parties slowly turned into dinner parties, so fashion and style changed.
The central piece of the statement ring also changed, and other kinds of gemstone came into the focus instead of diamonds. The jewelry style became more sophisticated, simple, and elegant, which was the primary difference between the old and new ring types. Basically, women started choosing the ring according to the event they wanted to attend.
Take Care of Your Statement Ring
Taking care of your jewelry is crucial if you want them to last, especially if you have a vintage piece that needs special care. Use a soft cloth to pack, store, and clean your rings. Never expose them to any chemicals, perfumes, and lotions. Always remove the rings before going swimming.
Also, many stores will provide a cleaning service if you buy your ring from their shop. At least once a year, get your precious jewelry cleaned so that it will last longer.
Even though modern time allows more freedom for creating a unique style, statement rings are still a symbol of independence and strength. Whatever model you choose, rest assured that a statement ring will convey the desirable message. Your only task is to enjoy the beauty.