The all-mighty ring is such a small piece of jewelry, yet it carries numerous symbolic meanings, and it has so many functions. It has always been part of your life, heritage, and style. Moreover, the bunch of legends behind the ring has inspired many authors to write marvelous novels and intriguing stories.
Ring placement on the particular finger has been the most discussed question of all times. Having five fingers and two hands give you many options on how and where to place your rings. Now, we can discuss what does a thumb ring mean.
The History of the Rings
The tradition of making and wearing rings date back to ancient India and the 3rd century BC, but the first models were not made of metal, as you might think. Ancient Indians used leather, wood, rope, and other materials more prone to the decay to make the first bands.
In Near East and Egyptian, rings were a usual symbol for aristocracy and people in power. The most famous models were the scarab rings from ancient Egypt, with this beetle sculpture in the center. They represented immortality and life after death. Ancient Egyptians wore them as a part of the customs connected to funerals.
The ring trend continued spreading throughout history. Ancient Greeks made rings out of silver and bronze. They often used them to seal the deal and make some agreements official and verified.
On the other hand, Romans preferred to wear rings with large oval gems. This model was highly appreciated among people from different social ranks.
And so, the ring story went on. The symbolism, meanings, and customs of how people were wearing rings in the past can confuse people in the modern society of the 21st century.
It can sound surprising to find out how many influences the ring has had on people’s lives over the centuries. Most of the time, the reason for wearing a particular model on a specific finger has depended on a person’s preferences and style. However, these customs often had a hidden meaning and sent a specific message.
What Does a Thumb Ring Mean?
1. The Thumb Ring as a Protection against the Evil Spirits
According to the old belief, putting a ring on your thumb can do the trick to protect yourself from evil spirits’ influences. People have often been convinced that a thumb ring can chase away spells, misfortunes, and sickness throughout history.
Protection against the underworld’s creatures is a topic that never gets old. You can even find designs and symbols on some rings to support the fight against dark soldiers and terrible scourge.
These ancient symbols have lingered on until nowadays. Therefore, you can often see heavy-metal fans showing so-called horn-hand gestures with rings on their thumbs. The primary purpose is to scare evil spirits.
2. Thumb Rings for Widows
Another custom was connected with widows who wore the thumb’s ring after their husbands had died. It was the way to honor the late husband and to remember him.
The thumb ring used to represent commitment and forever lasting love. As such a symbol, the widow would wear it on her thumb.
3. A Thumb Ring and Mythology
The thumb as a finger is a bit unique and on its own. Therefore, it represents individualism. Two eminent Gods from Greek mythology were relevant to the thumbs.
First, it was the Poseidon, the God of oceans. He led a different kind of life from other Gods on Olympus. Another one was a divine hero Heracles, a fighter against chthonic monsters.
As you could notice, both were distinguished and independent individuals with a distinctive style of life and strong characters. Consequently, it was believed that people could connect their personalities to these strong characteristics if they wear a thumb ring.
4. The Archers’ Thumb Rings
The applicable and practical use of the thumb ring has been relevant throughout history and nowadays in archery. The archers have usually worn a thumb ring to protect the delicate skin when operating the bow’s string. Therefore, a person wearing a specific thumb ring has traditionally been a professional archer or a hunter.
Nowadays, you can find the archery thumb rings worldwide as part of the standard equipment. They are made of different materials. In the past, people used only wood and leather to create this ring type.
On the other hand, contemporary pieces include leather, stone, horn, ceramics, plastic, wood, bone, antler, ivory, metal, and glass.
5. The Renaissance Thumb Ring
There are still some saved written proofs that the thumb ring represented love, dedication, and loyalty during the Renaissance period. After getting engaged, the ring was placed on this finger. It symbolized and pointed to the status of the person wearing it.
So, the thumb ring was another symbol of love and understanding that reminded people of how love is the essential element of life.
6. The Thumb ring as the Comfort
Very often, both men and women like wearing many rings on their fingers as their style, which can be tricky, uncomfortable, and a bit crowded. Wearing the ring on the pinky or ring finger is quite common.
However, wearing a ring on your thumb as it is apart from other fingers can also be a logical option. When worn that way, that ring is far from other bands, which will make you feel more comfortable, and your hands will look less packed with jewelry.
7. The Thumb Ring as the Only Solution
It is not a rare case to inherit a ring from a dear member of your family. Sometimes, it has been a precious belonging of your ancestors for a long time. For instance, rings you have inherited from male ancestors will be too big for your fingers, and they won’t fit correctly.
In that case, you can’t pick out the right ring size for you, but it would be a pity to resize such a precious piece of jewelry in any way. So, it would help if you chose to wear it where it fits the best. Since the thumb is thicker than the other fingers, it will probably be appropriate for this purpose.
8. The Thumb Ring as a Symbol of Freedom
The thumb ring was also a symbol of someone’s freedom. As it represents something unique and different from other fingers, thumbs jewelry represents the boldness and courage to express those differences. Furthermore, it symbolizes the freedom of thought and willingness to feel comfortable as someone who sticks out.
9. The Thumb Ring as a Symbol of Bisexuality and Homosexuality
You need to be bold, brave, and strong to express the preference for the same gender or affection towards both of them. Such an explanation is emphasized in modern societies of the 20th and 21st centuries.
No wonder that the most common connection with a thumb ring nowadays is the one that defines the person as homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual. If that person wears the ring on the right thumb, it means he or she is available and not engaged in the relationship, and vice versa.
10. The Thumb ring as a Symbol of Profession
It was common in the 16th century for doctors and other medical experts to wear a ring as their profession’s mark. Later on, the members of the Free Mason community started to wear distinctive member rings.
The Masonic Signet ring doesn’t have a special finger placement rule. Therefore, members of the freemason society can wear it on the thumb finger, as well.
11. The Thumb Ring as the Symbol of Wealth and Status
Wealthy and powerful men from ancient Greek society used to wear the thumb ring to symbolize their status and wealth. Sometimes they even wore more than one ring on their thumbs. The more and the massive these rings were, the more power and fortune that person had.
The same symbolism of strong and rich men still stays, and often those in higher positions and higher ranks wear rings nowadays. Pay attention to the thumb jewelry such a person has. If the ring is precious and massive, that person is very influential in his or her society.
12. The Thumb Ring as a Symbol of Decisive Person
Being decisive is tightly connected with being a powerful and wealthy person. However, you should add here one more characteristic.
The person wearing a thumb ring has strong beliefs and is decisive in every way, especially if the ring is on the right thumb. That shows he or she uses logic instead of feelings when making decisions.
One can easily make a mistake when trying to judge a person by the thumb ring’s meaning. As you can see, it can mean many things as different periods and different cultures have affected the importance of wearing the band that way. Yet, one thing always strikes out! The person with a thumb ring is an individualist with a lot of courage to do things uniquely.
In the Lord of The Ring trilogy, J.J. Talking explicitly explained the meaning of this unique piece of jewelry. You can read how the importance of only ONE band can save or destroy the entire world. So, you should always be careful!