What is a Pinky Ring?
A pinky ring is a piece of jewelry, traditionally made from 10K, 14K, or 18K gold or sterling silver, worn on the fifth finger of the hand - the pinky finger. “Pinky” comes from the Dutch word “pink” meaning “little finger.”
Pinky rings generally have simple yet bold silhouettes. Semi precious stones, engravings, and precious metals can all be affiliated with different status of wealth, family, or allegiances.
Why Do Men Wear Rings on Their Pinky Fingers?
The Tradition of Men's Pinky Rings
Throughout history, pinky rings were worn to show one's lineage and status. Since the late Victorian era, the pinky ring has been worn by the British Royal Family. That tradition has continued and can be seen on Prince Charles Duke of Windsor, today. Although the USA doesn’t have a royal family, we have our own traditions when it comes to rings and pinky rings. You may have gotten a class ring as you graduated high school. Signet rings make appearances in solidarity for club memberships. Professions like engineering give graduates Engineer's Rings or an Iron Ring to commemorate their trade.
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Pinky Ring Affiliation
In popular culture, pinky rings are often associated with crime, think - Tony Soprano, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, and Scorsese’s Goodfellas. The pinky ring is a staple accessory for the “Mafioso” look but it’s meaning runs deep – an unwavering loyalty to your family and crew.
Image from Anthony Neste
Pink Rings in Art & Music
Musicians and artists have been rocking the pinky ring trend for centuries. Oscar Wilde, world renowned poet, adopted the pink ring trend in the late 1800’s. The Rat Pack – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, are the pinky ring “kings” and wore them with pride on and off stage. Frank Sinatra always wore his family crest on a pinky ring.
Frank Sinatra in “Step Lively”, 1944
Pinky Rings: A Personal Statement
Pinky rings tend to be the first choice for a man who wants to wear a statement ring. These stylish pieces of jewelry can express a lot in a small package.
MARCO DAL MASO Moneta & Lash Collections
Pinky Rings are Not Just for Men
In the Victorian era, women and men who wore pinky rings were expressing their disinterest in pursuing marriage. Following suit, in the 1920-1930s many suffragettes started wearing them to represent self-love.
In the 1930’s, jewelers like Cartier and Van Cleef created pinky rings for their upscale clientele. Late Coco Chanel and Princess Diana were known to wear the classic signet pinky ring. Today, celebrities like Megan Markle, Rhianna, Kim Kardashian and more have been spotted wearing pinky rings.
Image from Getty Images
Tips for Buying Pinky Rings
- Don’t buy the oversized pinky ring: as a general rule of thumb (or pinky), the center stone or face should be slightly slimmer than the width of your pinky finger.
- Match the color of your pinky ring to your other accessories: One of the most subtle yet powerful pairings is to match the color of stones in your pinky ring to the color of cufflinks. Or fine stones that match the hue of your favorite necklace. Slight nods to similar colors are powerful and stylish tools.
- Do experiment: Try wearing rings on different fingers, and pair with a pinky ring. Which combinations look best depends on your sense of style. Try layering or keep it simple