With so many ring designs to choose from, it can be difficult to wrap your head around the sparkling possibilities. The versatility of rings makes it easy to accessorize for any occasion. Take a look at the 10 ring designs below to learn more!
1. Class Ring
Class rings feature the school, year, birthstone and name of graduating students and alumni of high schools and universities. Many offer the option of including a personalized inscription on the inside of the band, making these rings irreplaceable, nostalgic keepsakes. These rings are often given to (or bought by) students as they enter their final year of school.
FUN FACT: High school students used to give their class rings to their sweethearts as a romantic gesture. These days, it’s much more common for students to wear their S.O.’s supercomfortable hoodie.
2. Couple’s Ring
When you’re serious about your relationship, a couple’s ring is a touching way to display your love. Couple’s rings feature the birthstones of each person in the relationship, cut and set in a wide variety of colorful styles and designs. These can be given as gifts at any stage of a relationship, whether you’re dating, engaged or already married.
FUN FACT: There’s a huge “couple ring” culture in Korea, where young lovebirds often make their relationship official by getting matching rings (or other matching items) for their 100-day anniversary. Couple tees, couple bags, couple shoes — the list goes on!
3. Promise Ring
Perhaps not as official as engagement rings, promise rings still represent the deep commitment you share with your partner. When you’re not quite ready to make an engagement official but still want to celebrate your lasting connection, a personalized promise ring is a beautiful alternative to the traditional engagement ring.
FUN FACT: Many people confuse “promise rings” with “purity rings,” as these terms have gradually become more interchangeable. Traditionally, parents sometimes give their daughters purity rings to establish expectations of abstinence until marriage.
4. Engagement Ring
This is the ring everyone associates with the perfect proposal. Whether it features a large or small stone at its center, an engagement ring represents the promise of forever with the one you love. It marks a momentous event that so many people cherish in their hearts. Engagement rings are occasionally used as wedding bands as well, depending on the couple’s preference.
FUN FACT: December is the most popular time of the year for buying engagement rings and making marriage proposals, with Valentine’s Day following close behind.
5. Wedding Ring
The difference between an engagement ring and a wedding ring can be slightly confusing. They can both be worn at the same time — often as a matching set — but the wedding ring isn’t worn until the actual ceremony takes place. Here’s another way to think about it: the wedding ring is the band that the best man so often loses in cheesy romance movies, and the engagement ring is the one everyone can’t wait to see after the proposal.
FUN FACT: In ancient times, it was thought that the vena amoris, or “vein of love,” ran through the fourth finger of the left hand and straight to one’s heart. Because of this belief, wearing wedding bands on our “ring finger” has become an almost universal tradition.
6. Eternity Ring
No matter which way you look at it, an eternity ring sparkles with the radiance of its gems. The continuous line of precious stones symbolizes the “infinite” love people share in a relationship. Popular as gifts for anniversaries or special milestones in a couple’s marriage, eternity rings reinforce the couple’s commitment to love each other forever. Couples can also purchase a “half eternity ring,” a less expensive and more comfortable alternative that features stones on the outward-facing half of the band.
FUN FACT: The eternity ring as we know it today was developed by De Beers Diamond Jewelers in the 1960s. The company appealed to husbands across the country with the slogan, “She married you for richer or poorer. Let her know how it’s going.”
7. Claddagh Ring
There is a long, romantic history behind the Claddagh ring. Legend has it that a man from Galway named Richard Joyce was captured and sold into slavery. Working as a goldsmith, Joyce crafted the first Claddagh ring for the love of his life, hoping they would find each other again. In modern times, Claddagh rings can be given to friends, lovers, children — a touching gift for anyone held close to the heart.
FUN FACT: Claddagh, meaning “the stony beach,” is one of the oldest Celtic fishing villages in Ireland. The Claddagh ring design has become an integral icon in the village’s culture and traditions.
8. Birthstone Ring
Birthstone rings come in numerous styles, varying from the band’s design to the shape of the gem. These rings can feature as many birthstones as the wearer or giver desires, depending on the occasion and symbolism of each ring. Because birthstones represent unique meanings, they make beautiful, personalized gifts throughout the year.
FUN FACT: Originally birthstones were derived from the breastplate of Aaron, which shone with gemstones that represented the 12 tribes of Israel. In 1912, the American National Association of Jewellers remade and established the birthstone system we’re familiar with today.
9. Mother’s Ring
A mother’s ring features the birthstones of her children, grandchildren or anyone else she holds dear to her heart — including precious pups! The ring above also features the names of loved ones inscribed beside their corresponding birthstone. Particularly popular as Mother’s Day gifts, these rings are a wonderful way to melt Mom’s heart.
FUN FACT: The first mother’s ring came about when a couple joined the birthstone rings of their sons. The design became so popular that it was trademarked as an official U.S. ring category in 1959.
10. Cocktail Ring
Cocktail rings are flashy and fun and often feature a large, sparkling stone for all to see. These are one of the most recognizable examples of costume jewelry, bringing attention to the wearer’s striking style. This ring has continued to go in and out of fashion over the years, but such has been the case with all statement pieces. If you’re a fashionista at heart, you have the ability to rock any piece of jewelry with style.
FUN FACT: Cocktail rings rose in popularity during the Prohibition era in the United States, as women’s fashions grew bolder — especially when it came to secret cocktail parties.
Every ring is an opportunity to share an important part of who you are and who you value. The possibilities really are endless. And once you’ve filled your collection with your favorite rings, it may be helpful to invest in chic jewelry boxes and storage solutions to keep your precious pieces safe and sound.