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Right-Hand Rings - General

While a ring on the fourth finger of the left hand bears traditional and time honored implications of betrothal, recent years have seen the rise of the right hand ring with a more modern meaning. Many see the right hand ring as a sign of style but also as an emblem of empowerment, suggesting the independence, triumphs, or memories of the wearer.

The tradition of the right hand ring is a historic one. Ladies from the ancient world to the Renaissance were known to dazzle their digits with an array of finger, midi, and first knuckle rings on both hands. This tradition was perhaps most pointed during the days of the Renaissance, when women would be featured in their portraits at times with a greater number of rings than they had fingers. It was also during this era that the association of the left hand ring finger with marriage became established. Wedding rings on this finger had appeared well before this time, but it was during the Renaissance that these connections were further strengthened.

As jewelry tastes changed and such ostentation was replaced with more conservative styles, the appropriate number of rings a proper woman wore lessened notably. Modern society, however, has worked to reverse this trend, loosening the connotations of our fingers and instead encouraging jewelry collectors to wear their rings as they please. Whether tied to an event or simply worn for its beauty, a right hand ring is a delightful style option.

Quick Facts

  • Italian Renaissance master Filippo Lippi’s painting titled "Portrait of a Woman" reflects a well-appointed lady wearing three rings on her ring hand, which is featured prominently in the composition
  • A lasting memento: when Elizabeth Taylor married her fourth husband, Eddie Fisher, in 1959, she continued to wear her wedding band from her union with the late Mike Todd on her right hand
  • While the connotation of the right hand ring as a symbol of independence is a construct of the last decade, it has also become the hand associated with accomplishments, from personal to professional

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