Home > Thumb Rings

Thumb Rings

The thumb is a very important appendage. Without it, people would have difficult time gripping things. We wouldn't even be able to feed ourselves if it weren't for our opposable thumbs. This appendage has been used for thousands of years to show approval "thumb's up" and disapproval "thumb's down". Sometimes this gesture could be a mean life or death, other times it could just mean that the movie was good. Before we knew the dangers of hitch-hiking, it was used to signal to passing cars that a lift would be appreciated. We use it far more than we are aware, but we would certainly notice if we lost it. So, why not decorate this hard-working appendage?

Thumb rings -- Jewelry for the thumb?

There is proof of people wearing thumb rings all throughout history. It is even noted in literature that both men and women wore them.

Though they are worn for fashionable reasons today, they used to have a much more practical purpose. In Asia, archers wore thumb rings to protect their fingers during battle. They originally began as leather bands, but jewelers soon began experimenting with different metals and other materials. In the case of the archer pieces, the rings eventually became more ornate- some were even made from jade- and they began to designate military rank as well as social status.

Soldiers wore them, but it is also believed that men's thumb rings were also worn by physicians. It served as a sort of identifier for the profession.

Thumb Rings -- Styles and Trends

There are many different ways to wear this fashion trend. A single thin band is a common piece. It may be etched or carry a design on it for added character. Some bands are a wave style that gives some texture to a sterling silver thumb ring.

Because the thumb is typically the widest finger, it can accommodate thicker bolder styles. This is why it is also a common practice to stack rings. This works better with the wavy style, of course the rings should be purchased as a set so they fit together properly. Several thin bands set with diamonds makes a bold and fun statement. Single wide bands with gems and etchings also make for an eye-catching gold thumb ring.

Gothic thumb rings are more ornate than most. They tend to extend from the base of the thumb to the knuckle in different shapes, not just a band. Skulls, crosses and other images are highlighted with black antiquing against a sterling silver thumb ring. This might make a great gift for the teen who is still trying to "find himself."

Sentimental Thumb Rings

Often times, a woman who wears a silver or gold band on her thumb is wearing it for very sentimental reasons. It is common for fathers and grandfathers to pass down their wedding bands to their daughters and granddaughters. Because she doesn't want to size it down, she slips it on her thumb. It is a way for her to feel close to the deceased and a daily memento of his love. She may also do this with a deceased spouse's wedding band.

Significance of the thumb

According to the practice of palmistry, each finger represents some aspect of a person's character. The thumb represents self-control. The position of the thumb is also revealing. If it is bent or folded in, it signifies a resistance to success and some form of inner conflict. A sterling silver thumb ring is believed to aid in committing to and achieving the personal goals that are holding you back. It is also believed that women who wear them have more positive energy focused on them which, in turn, makes good things happen. Therefore, wearing a gold thumb ring might bring a woman good luck.

Meanings behind the rings change with the times and with each personal circumstance. Then again, there may not be any significance to wearing a thumb ring except for the sake of fashion.

Cleaning thumb rings

For plain gold bands, soak them in warm soapy water and wipe down. Every now and then, take it into a jewelry store for a professional buffing to bring back the original shine. Silver can also be buffed, but use sterling silver cleaner to remove tarnished spots. If there are stones glued into the setting like onyx and tiger's eye, don't soak it. Just wipe it down with a damp cloth. The band part can still be cleaned like normal. For diamonds and other gemstones, use a soft toothbrush to clean in between the setting.

A thumb ring just adds a little more oomph and character to your hand and reveals a little bit about your personality. The thumb works hard every day, why should the ring finger get all the attention? Try out a couple of styles and see what feels most comfortable and suits your personality. There are plenty of unique rings to choose from, so have fun with this trendy accessory.