While wearing a ring on your left ring finger symbolizes your marital status in western cultures, wearing a right-hand ring on your ring finger is a symbol of your own empowerment (and sometimes rebellion!) Let’s look at how this right-hand ring symbolism came to be and share some ideas and inspiration for choosing your own right-hand ring!
Right-Hand Rings Through Our History
The popularity of right-hand rings began in the 1920s specifically during the days of the prohibition of alcohol. Many women had joined the workforce and embraced a completely new lifestyle by letting go of impractical dresses, embracing pants, and joining the men in the speakeasies to enjoy a cocktail. This is where the term “cocktail ring” was first coined. As the women became more independent, they wanted to embrace their new life and often celebrated and signified it by purchasing a brightly colored gemstone ring and flaunting it on their right hand. (This is where the rebellious side came into play!) It also signified the newfound earning power of women. They chose a ring for themselves that illustrated their own fun and taste in jewelry and then celebrated themselves by purchasing it.
The trend continued and gained even more popularity as movie stars such as Natalie Wood and Elizabeth Taylor modeled gorgeous right-hand rings in Hollywood. Since then, the tradition has ebbed and flowed a bit but still remains a beautiful symbol of women choosing jewelry just because it makes them happy or to celebrate a special accomplishment or event in their lives. The right-hand ring is not a jab at the left-hand engagement and wedding rings or at marriage itself, but instead a companion that shows independence and celebrations in their own lives.
Right-Hand Ring Trends Today
This trend is still going strong today. Cocktail rings are traditionally fun and brightly colored but right-hand rings are not limited to cocktail rings. Many have vintage heirloom rings passed down from previous generations that they choose to wear on their right hands. These heirloom rings may be passed down after the loved one has died or may be given to celebrate certain accomplishments like graduations, milestone birthdays, or work achievements. Many of these beloved heirlooms are strong symbols of power, independence, and love for the wearers!
Right-Hand Ring Ideas
One of the most fun and appealing ideas of right-hand rings is that there are no set rules to the trend! The sky is the limit and you have the freedom to choose any style, gemstone, size, or metal that you want! Are you drawn to a pretty pastel gemstone? Perhaps you would go with a lighter sapphire, a lighter amethyst, aquamarine, or a blue topaz! Prefer a darker, moodier statement ring? You could choose black onyx, darker amethyst, garnets, or a dark jade gemstone. Prefer a bright pop of color or more glitz? Emeralds are bold and beautiful and opals are sure to shimmer and shine! and Don’t discount the vintage flair for your right hand either. There are many gorgeous, art deco-inspired cocktail rings that are sure to make an eye-catching statement!
Birthstones are always a popular choice for a right-hand ring. You could choose a single solitaire of your birth gemstone or choose to do your birthstone with smaller stones surrounding it. A birthstone ring is a wonderful gift to give and treasured for years to come!
As far as the metals go, again there are no rules. Many may choose to coordinate the metal of their right-hand ring to their wedding bands but this is not a hard and fast rule. You could choose several smaller bands of different metals for your right-hand ring to include the same metal as your left hand but not be completely matching. There is no rule that says your metals must all match so again whether you choose yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold metal on your right-hand ring, be sure it is what you want!
One large ring not really your style? Stackable bands with small gemstones together can make a strong statement together just as much as a larger cocktail ring. Have fun with it!
What is Your Why?
As history has shown us, the tradition of right-hand rings is often accompanied by a specific “why” or story behind the ring. What are you celebrating with your right-hand ring? Is it a special gift from a loved one celebrating a milestone in your life? Remember that accomplishment as you put the ring on. Are you celebrating your own personal achievement with your right-hand ring? Be proud and celebrate yourself every time you wear it! No matter the reason, right-hand rings are meant to be fun and bring joy to the wearer!
The jewelers at Isbell have a wide variety of right-hand rings available to browse. We can help you choose the perfect ring that celebrates you and your life! Choosing a gift for a loved one? We can help you find a ring that it sure to impress. Don’t forget about our vintage art-deco and cocktail ring collection. Our custom jewelry designs are always options for designing a one-of-a-kind ring also. Browse our online collection to begin dreaming of your right-hand ring or stop by our shop and see our collection in person!