man wearing gold jewelry

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Pinky rings have gotten a bad rap on screen with thugs, criminals, and mafia bosses sporting the signature look. However, the pinky ring has a long sartorial history. It has been growing in popularity as the accessory of choice for ballplayers, actors, rappers, and industry titans, from Michael B. Jordan to Harry Styles.

Unfortunately, the pinky ring’s criminal reputation makes some men reluctant to try the chic trend. Discover the different meanings behind wearing a pinky ring, what types of rings you can wear on your little finger, and how to style them. 

Shop Men’s Pinky Rings at Frost NYC

The Meaning Behind a Pinky Ring

Pinky rings are associated with wealth, status, and power. They were traditionally only worn by men of high stature in the middle to upper classes and aristocracy. But they have also symbolized other characteristics throughout history, from sexual and marital status to professional and criminal associations. 

Sexual status

When homosexuality was illegal, men could be imprisoned for having a same-sex relationship. Pinky rings were used to identify yourself to potential partners without alerting the authorities. 

Today, pinky rings are more closely associated with self-love, sexual independence, and freedom from the confines of conventional relationships. 

Organized crime

Members of the Mafia often wore pinky rings. Urban legend suggests that the ostentatious rings, set with huge gems, were a life insurance policy. If the wearer got whacked, the ring could be pawned or sold by the family to pay for the funeral. 

Secret communication

Fingers are often assigned meaning, and the pinky finger used to be associated with Mercury, the Roman god of messages, translators, and interpreters. Wearing a pinky ring was often used by secret societies to communicate membership to a specific chapter. 

Mercury is also the god of wealth, commerce, and good fortune. So, people would sometimes wear pinky rings as a talisman or luck symbol. 

focus gold ring on pinky

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Types of Rings Worn on the Pinky Finger

Wearing your ring on your pinky finger means it is less likely to be damaged by everyday activities. Wearing a jewelry piece in this position means you have a wider range of men’s gold pinky rings to choose from. Some popular styles of pinky rings include: 

Professional ring

Professional rings are plain or engraved bands symbolizing a man’s membership in a particular industry or guild. They were first worn by Middle Eastern and Asian metal workers as early as 4000 BC, who had already become skilled artisans. Rings found at archaeological sites had a plain hammered iron band with a seal (similar to a signet ring) indicating which guild they belonged to. 

Many modern professionals also use a pinky ring to denote membership to a trade. For example, engineers often wear the Iron Ring on their left or right pinky. Geologists are also known to wear an Earth Ring (a plain band with an image of the crossed hammer.)

Wedding ring

Prince Albert famously wore his wedding ring on his pinky finger, which kicked off a trend of royal men wearing their wedding bands under their signet rings on their left hand. Prince Leopold (Albert and Victoria’s son) and Prince Charles (current heir to the British throne) wear their wedding bands like their predecessor. 

Signet ring

Signet rings are the ultimate symbol of status and wealth. In the past, these rings typically featured a family crest, a symbol of office, or personal identifier and were used to press into wax seals and notarize documents. Because of the intricacy of their designs, they were extremely expensive and often handed down as heirlooms. 

Modern signet rings often feature large precious or semi-precious stones worn by athletes, politicians, and other power players to denote their status. 

Midi ring

A midi ring is an open ring with a small circumference that typically sits at the first knuckle on the index or middle finger. However, many men repurpose their midi rings as pinky rings for a subtle, minimal take on the pinky ring trend.  

wearing large black pinky ring

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How to Style Your Pinky Ring

Fortunately, you no longer have to be a member of the aristocracy or mafia to slide on a one-of-kind pinky ring. Whether minimalist or ornate, these impressionable rings are a style statement on their own, so you don’t need a huge range of accessories to complete your look. 

If you wear other rings on the same hand as your pinky ring, keep them sleek and minimal. Plain gold bands or rings with delicate engravings and one or two small stones are ideal. Avoid chunky statement rings, large gems, and pave-style settings. 

For an understated look, keep your other jewelry toned down. A single 14k gold chain and a diamond ear stud worn with your pinky ring can be a chic way to accessorize a plain t-shirt and jeans ensemble. 

If you are wearing your pinky ring to the office, accessorize conservatively with a Franco or rope-style gold chain, a luxury timepiece, and your signet ring. 

Make a Statement With a Pinky Ring From Frost NYC

Whether you are just getting started in the jewelry game or adding to your collection, shop our range of luxury pinky rings at Frost NYC. From 10k gold pave rings to rings set with precious gemstones, we have the perfect pinky ring to make you appear more confident. 

November 23, 2021

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