Question: What do Prince Charles, Elvis, Bruno Mars, Jimi Hendrix, Ringo Starr and Tony Soprano all have in common?
Answer: They all wear (or wore) pinky rings.
Future Kings of England, rock stars and mob bosses don’t appear to have much in common, but in fact, they are all fierce devotees of the pinky ring.
The word ‘pinck’ means ‘small finger’ in Dutch, and over the years it has come to signify the ring you wear on your little finger.
In Roman mythology, each finger was assigned to a particular god; the pinky finger represents Mercury, the messenger of the gods who linked mortals with the underworld. For this reason, pinky rings were often worn as a protective or healing talisman, and to give the wearer good luck.
Pinky rings can have a wide range of meanings, depending on the wearer. Back in the good old Middle Ages, pinky rings were a sign of wealth. They had your family crest on them and were used to stamp and seal key messages and important documents. If you were powerful enough to have a signet ring, you had some serious status going for you. Wearing a pinky ring or thumb ring defined someone who was rich enough not to have to do manual, outside labor or dirty household chores that were impractical to do while wearing a bulky, expensive ring.
What do modern pinky rings signify?
Men often wear their wedding rings on their pinky finger, representing marital status. Prince Charles, due to become King of England when his mother, Queen Elizabeth dies, wears his wedding ring on his left pinky finger. For many years, gay men have proudly worn pinky rings in the same way they wear piercings in their right ear.
Trying to get rid of a would-be suitor? Victorian-era men and women wore pinky rings to protect themselves from unwanted attention from the opposite sex. Women these days wear pinky rings to show their non-marital status and disdain for conventional relationships. Organized crime bosses traditionally gave a pinky ring to new inductees into the mafia, which were said to be like an insurance policy to protect them from getting ‘whacked.’ Many wore them above their wedding rings on their pink hand pinky fingers. Mafia rings were, and probably still are, huge, flamboyant, gaudy and expensive, and could be sold off to fund a funeral, if necessary. Class rings, which are given to a graduating class of students, and trade, club or association rings are always worn on the pinky finger. Once Engineers have completed their studies, they get to wear a coveted pinky as a mark of honor.
Pinky rings are usually made of solid white, rose or yellow gold. They are thinner round the inside of the finger and wider towards the knuckle. They may have a flat, dome shaped surface, in which most fit a colored gemstone with engraved markings around the sides. Most pinky ring stones are dark in color, such as black onyx or blue lapis lazuli. You can choose a pinky ring to match your clothing, or accent the color of other your other jewelry, such as cufflinks. Pinky rings are a huge fashion statement too, so many celebrities wear them blinged out to the max. Successful rappers, actors and businessmen such as Sean Love Combs, (the former P. Diddy), Jay-Z, Brad Pitt, Drake and Johnny Depp wear pinky rings to make a statement about their success. Pinky rings tend to be among the “busiest” or flashiest of designs. It's where you wear things when you want attention paid to them and to you.
And yes, Wall Street money men all wear pinky rings.
Pinky rings throughout the ages have generated messages of wealth, availability, non- availability, freedom, fashion, clan membership, authority and more. “The pinky ring shows a reverence for the past infused with a modern spirit of self-expression” says jeweler David Yurman.
Whatever your particular reason for wearing a pinky ring, we’re sure we have you covered. Check out our different designs and styles to find the perfect one (or ones) for you. Stack them on your right- or left-hand pinky finger or wear them on their own.
It’s entirely up to you.