Choosing a Signet Ring Head Size
Adrian O Updated July 2017 Help, Ring Head Size
When considering which signet ring head size, your first consideration is which finger you will be wearing the new ring on? This has a significant bearing on the head size as the bigger the finger the bigger the head of the ring should be.
Which finger should I wear a signet ring on? THERE ARE NO RULES!
There are significant international differences as to which finger the ring is usually worn on. In the UK it is popular to wear heraldic signet on the little finger. The ‘pinkie’ ring is popular with men and women, however the latter often wear a larger ring on an alternative finger as a fashion accessory. It has also become more widespread for men to wear a signet ring on an alternative finger. Gents signet rings have become a popular choice as a wedding band or to be worn with a wedding band, the latter option with a cut out under the head to accommodate the wedding band so the two rings can be worn comfortably together. Military rings, club rings, and masonic rings are also often worn on a ‘ring’ finger.
Across the rest of the planet the pinkie ring is less the norm, in Europe and the USA heraldic rings are usually worn on the ring finger. The advantage of this is the larger head size is able to accommodate the more elaborate heraldic designs which are preferred in these regions. In The USA particularly the wearing of signet rings, with a heraldic or club or association insignia, is much more prevalent.
Choosing a larger head size will allow:
- A larger working area for the master engraver.
- The engraving will not cost you more but will give you more detail and allow for more detailed work.
Dexter Rings provides a head size chart divided into size/weight bands. Each band is given a name: ‘gents small’, ‘gents medium’ etc. As we are based in the UK they are named according to UK tastes. So in the UK where the signet ring is commonly worn on the little finger, a ‘medium’ oval (14x12mm) is considered a ‘medium’ ring only when worn on the little finger of an ‘average’ sized man/hand. It should not be considered a ‘medium’ ring if worn on the ring finger. In fact the ‘medium’ ring head is too small for the ring finger of most men. In short the name of the ring is based on the idea the wearer will be using the little finger.
Of course the cost of a purchase is a factor for all of us, it is a simple fact that price will affect all our purchasing decisions. The price of a smaller head size can influence remote online customers to underestimate the head size, purchasing a smaller ring than is probably required. To counter this, as a general rule it is probably best for male wearers to avoid rings that are too small, they will appear out of balance and can look feminine.
In short it is practically unknown for us to receive a returned ring because the head was too large!
A smaller or larger ring head can appear appropriate on the female hand. The standard fuller shoulder with a large head could make a contemporary style choice, or perhaps a slimmer shoulder for the more traditional look.
The most popular ‘pinkie’ ring in the UK for women is the 12X10mm oval, all our rings can be supplied with a more slender ‘feminine’ shoulder if required. For male wearers the 14X12mm and the 16x13mm ovals are the most popular rings worn on the little finger. The 18x14mm and 19x16mm ovals are more usually worn on the man’s ring finger both here in Europe and the USA. Similarly in the US, the 14x12mm or 16x13mm ovals are popular choice’s for the woman’s ring finger.
While factors such as finger size, and size and shape of the hand, and the height and stature if the individual are all important, it is personal preference and the individual look you wish to achieve which is important. Ultimately personal preference will dictate this lifetime purchase.
So it’s is probably best to print out the head size guide and disregard the name of the ring - just consider which ring looks right to you! After all it is a personal decision!