Any type of ring is worn for a specific special purpose. Choosing to wear a ring on the thumb has many different significance and implications just like wearing wedding rings or other types of rings on other fingers. There have been many contradictions and speculations about the meaning of the thumb rings because of its positive and negative connotations.
In the 21st century, it is widely known that wearing a thumb ring describes a person’s sexual orientation. However, the world is a colossal place and there are many different cultures and beliefs that see the ring in other virtues and merits. There is one thing sure about thumb rings. It has always been worn by both men and women through time. Together, let us learn more about this controversial ring.
Meaning of Thumb Rings
The ring has been a sign of social status through time. If we look through the history of the world, the thumb ring has always been a sign of social rank among men. The man with the heaviest, most adorn, and most ornate is always the most powerful. In addition, thumb rings in China can signify the rank in the military. They are often made of jade glass.
Men and Women Thumb Rings Through Time
- For men, thumb rings have been an easy option especially when they want to wear more than one ring in one hand. A ring on the pinky and the middle finger can be crowded by a ring on the thumb is just comfortable.
- Thumb rings are also worn by archers as a protection. As we all know, materials in archery are often heavy and massive so for men archers to protect their skin from any injury, they wear a thumb ring that is made with wood, ivory, plastic, metal, glass or stone.
- Thumb rings can also signify freedom. Many people believe that having a ring on the thumb means strength, independence, and individuality. If you wear a bigger thumb ring, it means that you are a more independent and free person. In this modern time, women wear thumb rings to express their freedom and independence. However, the time has defined this classic belief that associates thumb rings to free will, will power and independence in general.
- The thumb ring can denote one’s profession. Back in the 16th century, doctors and other individuals in the medical field in Europe would wear thumb rings to signify their profession.
- The thumb ring has no astrological meaning however, it has some significance in classic mythology. It indicates strong character.
Left or Right
- The placement of choice for the ring can also signify different meanings. If one wears the thumb ring on the left hand, it would reflect the person’s inner thoughts, beliefs, and feelings while if one wears the thumb ring on the right hand, it would reflect the person’s conscious and logical thoughts.
- On the other hand, the thumb ring can also signify sexuality. In modern times, persons who are homosexuals or gay wear thumb rings to classify sexual orientation and relationship status. Placing the thumb ring on the right hand can signify that they are gay and single while placing the thumb ring on the right side can denote that they are gay and in a relationship.
- Not only is this placement rule applicable to homosexual people because in some parts of the world, wearing a thumb ring on the right-hand means that a person is single and on the left when a person is taken or is in a serious relationship.
21 Thumb Rings
History of Thumb Rings
The concept of wearing rings on the thumb is as old as the mummies. The discovery of an Egyptian woman mummy wearing a thumb ring proves that this concept dates back to the Egyptian era. Although, in the older times, wearing the thumb ring signifies different meanings than what we have now. Typically, thumb rings were worn to ward off evil spirits and avoid diseases. Both men and women would wear it as a protection. In addition to that, women before would wear a thumb ring from a dead husband to preserve their memory as the thumb ring symbolized love, commitment, and willpower. It can even be read on the writings of Shakespeare. The meanings of thumb rings have undoubtedly changed.
Thumb Ring Materials
Thumb rings can be made of any material. Commonly, thumb rings are made of stone, plastic, ivory, sterling silver, copper, metal, and even white or yellow gold. They come in various sizes, patterns, and designs. Thumb rings come studded, carved or engraved. For the younger generation, thumb rings made of metal and engraved with designs are most popular. It is also popularly worn by older men and women as a fashion statement.
Thumb Ring Proper Care
As thumb rings are made of different materials, caring for it would be different for every material. Below are some tips you may refer to:
- Place the thumb ring in a separate small pouch to avoid getting scratches from other stronger jewelry like diamonds.
- Silver thumb rings should be polished with a soft moist sponge when there is tarnish in it.
- Be careful in using toothpaste as a cleaning agent for the silver thumb ring as some contain baking soda or other abrasive ingredients.
- It is better to use a specifically formulated polish to remove the tarnish.
- For copper thumb rings that have not been lacquered, lemon juice, tomato juice, baking soda, and Worcestershire sauce can be used to clean the tarnish.
- For ivory thumb rings, always ensure it is exposed to light as its color may turn to yellow if always in the dark.
- Lemon or water can both be used in cleaning ivory thumb rings.
- For gold thumb rings, a solution of warm water and liquid dish detergent can be used as a cleaning agent.