Men's Jewelry: From Sterling Silver to Sigil Rings
Posted by LONDON MANORI
We’ve been empowering women to feel comfortable and confident with their fashion choices for quite some time now, so why don’t we give that same energy to males as well? While there’s no doubt that women are more interested in expressing themselves through jewelry than men, that doesn’t mean that we should frown upon men's jewelry and accessories?
From the beginning of time, jewelry has made women feel beautiful and confident. However, the demand for male jewelry is increasing, and we are seeing more and more men wearing jewelry and trying to get rid of masculine stereotypes once and for all, and we are here for it!
When you think about it, there is nothing gender-specific about earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces. Jewelry is, and will always be, about self-expression regardless of what gender someone is.
Back in the day, men would wear jewelry, even more so than women. Once upon a time, men wore jewelry to signify their:
- Marital status
However, as time passed, jewelry started to become more for just women and not for men. For a long time, men who wore jewelry have been frowned upon, mocked, and looked at differently in society because they are “too feminine .”
Luckily, nowadays, jewelry designers are taking action on this issue of changing gender norms by making jewelry more common and accessible for both genders, whether it is for men that want to wear women’s jewelry or women that want to wear men’s’ jewelry.
At last, it’s nice to see that the attempt to trash the set up norms is not one-sided. More and more women are accepting men’s fashion, and the trend of unisex jewelry pieces is taking over the industry. So far, women have enjoyed most of the fun with jewels, and now is the time for men to join the party.
History of Men’s Jewelry?
While most of us know that women love accessorizing with different jewelry items for quite some time now, what most people don’t know is that men actually started wearing jewelry long before women did.
Generally, men’s jewelry has been around for 200 years. As you may know, during the renaissance period, kings were known for wearing big and bright pieces of jewelry as they represented their wealth, status, and power. At that time, a man who wore jewelry was totally acceptable and also very fashionable.
Then during the 18th and 19th centuries, things really started to take a turn. During this period, men stopped wearing jewelry and started wearing pocket squares and ties, as they wanted to have more of a “macho” look and believed jewelry gives them the total opposite.
Then the ’60s came around, and as you may already know, this era was known for people embracing who they really are and not really caring about other peoples’ opinions. With that said, men’s jewelry, once again, became relevant and fashionable. Men wore rings, necklaces, earrings, and more.
As you can see, men’s jewelry was an on-again-off-again topic for centuries. Today, men are, once again, starting to get more comfortable with making bolder statements through jewelry. Perhaps our open global culture, along with the continuing blurring of gender roles, will result in the destruction of lame stereotypes about men’s jewelry once and for all.
Should Men Accessorize More?
When it comes to wearing jewelry, in some parts of the world, men are simply not as confident as women. If a man is going to feel comfortable wearing jewelry mainly depends on his lifestyle and the environment in which he was raised.
With negative stigmas being removed and jewelers focusing more on providing men’s accessories, there’s really no reason for men not to accessorize more. Today, many celebrities are starting to set trends to encourage other men to start accessorizing more, which is pretty awesome.
For instance, the legend himself, Johnny Depp, is never seen without a multitude of personalized necklaces, rings, and bracelets. Rober Downing Jr. and Randy Jackosn also have a vast collection of colorful necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings.
Additionally, you can see many musicians and artists like Zac Brown rocking a range of skull bracelets and necklaces that speak to his confidence in his lifestyle.
One thing that all these people have in common is that they are not afraid to accessorize. No matter if it’s something small or big, one piece or several pieces, they aren’t afraid to show it, which speaks volumes about who they are as a person and what their personality is like.
How to Wear Men's rings
Generally, wearing a ring is totally acceptable as long as you understand the message you are sending. The rings you wear send subliminal or direct messages, and they’ve done so for thousands of years.
A ring can send the message that you attended the Naval Academy, that you are not available, that you are part of a fraternal brotherhood, and much more. It can be said that wearing a ring beyond the wedding band is a statement, but a statement that not everyone will get.
Due to the power that these small circular objects hold, you must make sure that you understand what kind of message you are sending to the world, whether it’s your achievements, your fashions sense, your marital status, or your beliefs.
For instance, if you are confident about your fashion sense, then wearing one or more rings can significantly add to your personal style, that is, if you have the eye for choosing the right one(s).
Plenty of men who have been into fashion for a long time or who are very comfortable with their own personal style prefer to wear several rings, typically sterling silver rings, on a day-to-day basis.
However, if you are just getting started on your journey of expressing yourself through jewelry, it’s best to stick with one, max, two rings.
Rules for Wearing Men’s Jewelry
Now that you know that rings are more than just accessories and can send powerful messages to others, you need to get familiar with some essential rules for wearing men’s jewelry, particularly rings. What message you send to the world depends on various factors, from the style and color to the placement of your ring, every detail matters.
Just like with everything else in life, proportion is a big factor when it comes to choosing your jewels. Whether you are looking for a curb link bracelet, a herringbone chain, or a stunning sterling silver lion ring, your jewels should be proportionate to your body.
With that said, men with large hands should look for larger rings, while men with small hands should wear smaller rings, pretty simple actually. By the same principle, men with slim fingers should look for compact and thin bands, while men with fuller fingers should look for more broad bends.
Being rebellious and making bold fashion choices is fantastic. However, disregarding the rules of proportion will get you nowhere. Just like you shouldn’t wear clothes that are ten times smaller and cut into your circulation, you shouldn’t wear rings that are not proportionate to your body.
Finally, perhaps there will come a time when you are given a ring. For instance, a class ring at graduation or a gift for your birthday. In that case, if you notice that the ring doesn’t fit you, you should visit a local jewelry store and get your ring resized.
#2 Balance Your Jewels
How do you wear multiple rings without making the impression that you are a crazy person who can’t make a decision to save a life? Well, pretty simple, you balance it on the other hand that God has blessed you with.
The worst decision you can make is to crowd the rings together because that will literally look like a hot mess, and not in a good way.
With that said, if you already have a watch and a wedding band on your left hand, then the maximum number of rings you should put on your right hand is two, anything more will be too much.
#3 Match Your Rings to Metals
While wearing jewelry is all about self-expression and authenticity, not following some basic rules will do you more harm than good. Some rules are meant to be broken, but definitely not these ones.
If you want to make your life easier, you should match metals, simple as that. How do you do that? By checking your skin tone.
If the veins on your arm are blue or purple, you, my friend, have a cool skin tone. This means that silver is your go-to metal. For instance, a sterling silver ring with black enamel is the perfect choice for you.
On the other hand, If the veins on your arm are green, you have a warm skin tone, and gold jewelry would be the perfect option for you.
Last but not least, if you can’t tell if your veins are blue or green (and not because you have vision problems), then you are blessed with a neutral skin tone, meaning both gold and silver jewelry will look good on you.
Tips for Wearing Men’s Jewelry
If there’s anything that history has shown us, it’s that wearing jewelry as a man is something very normal, sometimes more popular, other times less popular, but normal indeed. With that said, styling and wearing jewelry is not as easy as it may seem. There are many things to consider, but as long as you follow some simple tips, you’re bound to be a real fashion icon.
#1 Find a Balance
Oftentimes it may seem like men today approach jewelry from two extremes. Either they wear it minimally, or they wear it excessively. However, the truth is that a gentleman knows he shouldn’t fall into either of these two categories. Just like with everything else in life, moderation is key.
#2 Don’t Be A Show-Off
Every real gentleman knows that you should never be a show-off. If your goal is to impress others with your charm, intellect, and humor rather than with superficial stuff like money and status, then you should skip jewelry that has big branding on it.
As you may know, jewelry very easily catches the eye of others; since it’s usually made of metal and it’s big and shiny, it’s easy to draw attention to it. With that said, like the gentleman that you are, you certainly don’t want to make the wrong impression by flexing costly branded jewelry.
#3 Match Your Jewels With the Occasion
Just like with clothes, your jewelry should match the occasion you’re going to. Imagine going to a funeral all bedazzled, you would certainly draw attention, and not the kind of attention you want. Also, if you are going to a job interview, try not to wear the most expensive Rolex watch.
However, if you are going to negotiate a business deal, you certainly want to send a message that you are an accomplished business person, so in that case, a Rolex can actually help you. See? There’s always a time and a place.
What Does the Position of My Ring Say About Me?
While you don’t need to worry that much about on which hand you wear your rings, it would be nice to get familiar with finger symbolism, so in that way, you’ll know what kind of message you want to send to the world.
Men who want to wear a “statement” ring typically go for the little a.k.a pinky finger because they don’t have cultural or religious associations in most cultures.
While there is a Hollywood connection between organized crime and wearing rings on the little finger, there’s no factual evidence to prove that wearing a ring on this finger means you’re in the mafia.
Next time you go out in public wearing a ring on your pinky, don’t be surprised if people look at you weirdly.
The fourth a.k.a ring finger, is commonly associated with wedding symbolism, and well, we all know what this indicates; a marriage. While this is the cultural norm, in no way does this mean that people don’t wear rings to express themselves artistically, however, this is the cultural norm.
With that said, if you plan on going out and meeting some ladies, maybe don’t wear your ring on this finger, you definitely don’t want to send the wrong message.
Wearing a ring on the idle finger is quite unusual, perhaps because it’s right next to the index finger, and anything bulky can get in the way of doing day-to-day manual tasks. With that said, if you want to wear your ring on the middle finger, then go for something small and simple.
Since we use index fingers and thumbs the most out of any other digit, you would think that it is logical to keep these fingers clear. Well, you, my friend, are wrong. Wearing a ring on the index finger doesn’t interfere as much as wearing one on the middle finger.
Men who wear a ring on the index finger are believed to be confident and unapologetic, so if that’s the message you’re trying to convey, then go for it.
Last but certainly not least, the thumb. Thumb rings are very common worldwide. In most cultures, a thumb ring on a man is a sign of influence and wealth. Also, a thumb ring is often the first choice for men who want to wear multiple rings on the same hand.
Additionally, due to the fact that the thumb is separated from the other four fingers, if you want to send a message that you are unique and distinct, then a thumb ring is the perfect option for you.
Can Men Wear Feminine Jewelry?
While women have a plethora of options when it comes to accessorizing, men are limited to rings, bracelets, and cufflinks. With that said, a question that arises is, can men wear feminine jewelry?
The answer is absolutely yes! If there’s one thing that we learn about jewelry is that it’s all about comfort, confidence, and self-expression. So, if you are feeling confident and comfortable while wearing “feminine” jewelry, then you should absolutely do it.
In all honesty, it all comes down to personal preference, and quite frankly, it’s nobody else’s business what you wear on your body. The fact is that there is plenty of jewelry meant for women that shouldn’t even be categorized for women only because they look unisex.
The ongoing problem with society is that we categorize and label things too much. While we live in a world where anyone can wear whatever they feel suits them best, that doesn’t stop other people from judging.
Luckily, society doesn’t get to decide for you what you’ll do with your body. With that said, if you want to rock those 14 karat gold-filled brie hoops with a 14 karat thin yellow gold band or layer a 14k gold-filled oval-link necklace with a 14k Gold Filled Butterfly Necklace and Herkimer diamonds drops, knock yourself out.
Additionally, if bulky men’s rings make you uncomfortable, a 14 karat gold fill circle ring, a 14 Karat Gold Filled Hammered Ring, and a 14 Karat Gold Filled Cable Ring are smaller and thinner options for you.
Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Jewelry
While women often assume that buying jewelry just involves picking out the prettiest piece, men often assume that buying jewelry just consists of picking out the first piece that they see and like. Well, believe it or not, both methods are wrong. There are several mistakes you should avoid when buying these precious jewels.
#1 The Bigger the Price the Better
It’s very common for people to be misled by the assumption that bigger is better, so both men and women often end up choosing jewelry based on the pierce tag rather than the style, the color, and the quality of the piece.
While a bigger budget opens up doors to more high-end and expensive jewelry, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find fabulous, long-lasting, durable jewelry within the smaller budget.
Also, you should never start shopping before setting a budget because you can find yourself overspending on a piece of jewelry that you most certainly didn’t want or needed to, which leads to regret.
With that said, you should make both a mental and a physical note never to pick a piece of jewelry because it’s the most expensive of them all.
#2 Being Too Blingy
Most men don’t know how to style the jewelry, so they end up piling it on, which is not good. Having dozens of jewelry pieces at once will not improve your looks, nor will it make you look more stylish, quite the opposite.
One golden rule when it comes to jewelry is less is more. If you want to wear a chunky necklace, then avoid wearing chinky bracelets with it. Instead, pair it with a nice ring or another statement piece of your choice. At last, keep in mind that accessories should never overpower your outfit.
#3 Picking a Bad Retailer
One of the worst mistakes you can make when buying jewelry is to pick the wrong retailer. While there are many reputable, honest retailers, there are also many scams out there, so you need to do your research and make sure that you are getting what you paid for.
Buying jewelry is one of the larger emotional and financial investments a man can make. With that said, buying jewelry with very little to zero practical experience or knowledge is the biggest mistake you can make.
Tips to Making Cheap Jewelry Look Expensive
While no one wants cheap-looking jewelry, the matter of fact is that not all of us can afford high-end jewelry. However, that shouldn’t stop you in any shape or form from getting and wearing inexpensive jewelry that automatically makes you look like a million bucks.
Generally, being able to turn something simple into masterpieces is not one of those things that you were born with, but it is certainly something you can learn.
Undoubtedly, a lovely smelling perfume adds a lot to men’s attractiveness. However, if you are starting to wear jewelry, then you might want to think twice before spritzing that gorgeous perfume onto your body.
If you want your jewelry to look nice and expensive for a long time, you need to stop putting on the jewelry immediately after spritzing yourself with perfume.
Perfumes and all other alcohol-based products will break down the protective coating over your precious jewels, making them wear out and grow old far too soon.
The second tip to make your cheap jewelry look expensive is to work on preventing tarnish on your jewels. The clear coat on your jewelry acts as a barrier and prevents tarnishing. With that said, you should try your best to keep it that way by taking proper care of your jewelry.
Believe it or not, obnoxiously big pieces of jewelry scream “inexpensive.” With that said, if you want to look expensive, then avoid large pieces of jewelry like necklaces and earrings. Smaller jewelry pieces appear more expensive, even if they cost less.
What makes jewelry tarnish?
There’s truly nothing worse than delving into your jewelry box to search for a beloved piece of jewelry, only to find it tarnished, despite your best efforts to keep it safely nestled in your jewelry box.
Generally, silver is one of the most popular metals used in jewelry design. And, while pure silver is naturally resistant to tarnish, it is also too soft to be used in its pure form for jewelry, hence why it is mixed with other metals. So, what exactly is tarnish, and is there a way to prevent it?
Tarnish is a thin layer of corrosion, everyone’s biggest nightmare, which forms on metals and appears as a black or dull grey coating. Tarnish occurs on silver as well as other jewelry when it combines with sweat, body oils, sulfur, and other outside substances.
There are different degrees of tarnish, making your jewelry piece look slightly dull to completely black. In general, you can’t avoid this from happening because you can’t protect yourself from all kinds of substances you’re being bombarded with throughout the day. The best thing you can do is make sure to clean up your jewelry after wearing it.
However, if your jewelry ends up being tarnished, there’s no need to say goodbye to them yet. You can try and clean them first.
One of the best solutions for cleaning silver jewelry is to dip it in a salt bath. As for the gold jewelry and other precious stones, a warm bubble bath should remove the tarnish from your precious jewels.
Finally, the best thing you should do is try to prevent further tarnishing by cleaning your jewelry regularly and practicing proper care.
Some of the main steps to prevent further tarnishing are storing your jewelry in appropriate boxes, removing your jewelry before washing your hands, and removing your jewels during physical activities to avoid dents and scratches.
How to Store Jewelry, so It Doesn’t Tarnish?
Although it’s totally normal for your jewelry to tarnish after a while, you should always strive for that not to happen. In order for your jewels to stay intact as songs as possible, you must learn how to store them properly.
The first step you should do is do an inventory of your jewelry. You should make piles that separate costume jewelry, silver jewelry, and fine jewelry. Generally, you should keep silver jewels aways from fine jewels and costume jewels away from both fine jewels and silver jewels.
If you didn’t know, high humidity is one of the main things that speed up the tarnishing process on your special jewels. If you’ve ever lived in a humid climate, you probably noticed that your jewels tarnish way faster in the summer.
With that said, you should find a spot in your home with a consistent temperature because the more consistent the temperature, the better.
If you have silver jewelry, you should store it in a box lined with felt because felt helps absorb excess moisture and also prevents premature tarnishing. However, even if you properly store your silver jewelry, it will require regular polishing at least twice a year to remove tarnish.
Another great tip for preventing your jewelry from tarnishes is to put silica gel or activate charcoal in the box along with your jewels.
Last but not least, wrap your precious jewels in anti-tarnish paper or cloth. A great example of such fabric is muslin. In this way, you are preserving the shine and color of your jewelry. If you end up using all of the anti-tarnish paper, do not ever use newspapers as an alternative because they tend to be rough.
Essential Questions to Ask Yourself before Swiping Your Credit Card
Buying jewelry can be an extremely fun experience where you get to look at options, ask questions, compare, and finally become the owner of a beautiful piece of jewelry. However, there are some main factors to consider and several questions to ask yourself before swapping your credit card.
The first question you should ask yourself is what you actually want to buy. You should think about the design, the style ideas, and inspirations of your favorite pieces you’ve seen in the past. However, you should be open-minded, because you might fall in love with something completely different from your usual taste.
The next question you should ask yourself is what metal it is made out of. Knowing whether it’s made out of gold, silver, platinum, or another type of metal won’t only give you a clue of its value, but it will also help you determine what you like and don’t like.
Another question you should ask yourself is how does the piece of jewelry look on you. For this step, you’ll need to go to an actual store and try it on. In case you are buying a piece online, then look for a similar piece that is available at a nearby jewelry store and go and try it on.