Jewellery Etiquette for Men: Symbolism of Rings

All through India’s venerable history, men & women have bedecked themselves in gold, silver and gemstone jewellery. Right from vedic times to Bollywood, Indian men have loved wearing masses of jewellery. With Western influences and Western corporate offices setting up business in India, men have gradually stopped wearing jewellery. Young men and teenage boys do wear basic jewellery like a chain, bracelets or a couple of rings, but for the most part when it comes to wearing jewellery in adult life, men are sadly deprived.

It’s time to men to take back what their ancestors had: the wearing of stylish jewellery. Indian traditions dictates the gift of gold chains or small rings when an baby boy is born, most Hindu communities still pierce the ears of their baby boys, but the earrings are removed when the child reaches school going age. Boys do wear religious charms & amulets, along with rings set with ‘rasi’ stones, but again this isn’t style- it’s about a religious requirement.

So how does a Man dress up stylishly & flaunt his rings without looking effeminate? Don’t buy any silver ring online & expect to become the Most Popular Guy around. Going out to meet the gang or for a cup of coffee with the cute girl next door, requires a guy to look stylish not like a mama’s boy- Mama’s boys get friend-zoned. A couple of strategic rings on your thumb and a statement ring on your middle finger or your littlest (pinky) finger is the best way to get started on the path to Teen Idol. Pinky rings don’t have a religious significance and don’t interfere with the Index finger & are best to show off your style.
What are class rings and signet rings? Many blogs on Men’s style suggest wearing class rings on the Index or Pointer finger, unless you belong to a Billionaires Club or went to an exclusive foreign school or university, most Indian men don’t have class rings or signet rings. What you can do is wear the ring with the picture of your ‘family’ Idol that your Mother gave on your Index finger. First, ensure that changing the ring from the finger you’re wearing it on currently will not affect your spiritual well- being.

Signet rings used to represent royalty or noble families in Europe; nowadays members of secret societies, business & sports clubs, and other associations also wear signet rings. Aspiring men of fashion can buy signet silver rings online, instead of taking the trouble to join a club or exclusive association.

Wedding rings or bands aren’t to be confused with thumb rings or statement rings. They’re usually made of gold or silver and don’t have any decorations except an inscription (wedding date, spousal name). Sometimes they may be gypsy set with tiny cubic zirconia. In Western society, plain bands worn on the ring finger (next to the pinky) or the middle finger of the left hand shows that a man is married. Whereas, in India, most men wear the rings they get from their in- laws on the right hand.

If you’re getting a plain ring for your brother, father, cousins or a male friend- be careful not to get them a wedding band. In your family’s case, everyone would simply have a good laugh at you, you might return the ring & get them something else. Giving a wedding band to your male friend for whom you have only brotherly feelings is seriously awkward. When a guy buys a wedding band for himself, he’s telling the world (and single women) that he has a wife. For a swinging Single Male that can turn out to be tragic, because girls will start calling him ‘bhaiya’.

There really is no hard & fast rule to say which rings should be worn on which hand. Though, for ease & comfort, wear heavy & large rings with big stones or embellishments on your non- dominant hand, i.e., if you’re right-handed, wear cocktail or statement rings on your left- hand and vice- versa.

Wearing silver bracelets with a fistful of rings can take your admirers’ breath away. Wear 925 silver bracelets on the wrist opposite to the hand with all the rings- this will balance out your awesomeness.