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The Right Hand Ring

Maybe you’ve just landed a long anticipated promotion, bought your first home or graduated from your master's program. But whatever the reason, more and more women are celebrating their most meaningful moments by adorning their right ring fingers with a little extra sparkle.

The right-hand ring might be mistaken for an engagement one, but don't misunderstand: this isn't an ‘alternative’ to an engagement ring. According to legend as well as some news reports over the years, women use them as symbols to declare their personal independence and to celebrate single life. The right-hand ring is, at its simplest, just a celebration of you.

This tradition was popularized by lauded actresses of the mid-century like Elizabeth Taylor and Natalie Wood, and extended beyond the turn of the millennium. In 2003, De Beers, the the diamond company known for its ‘A Diamond is Forever’ slogan, launched its ‘Raise Your Right Hand’ campaign, encouraging women – both married and unmarried – to purchase expensive stones as a means to express themselves instead of announcing an engagement.

It's not all about the sparkly new stuff, though. Vintage right-hand rings — those purchased by our mothers and grandmothers in the '40s, '50s and '60s — have become parts of legacies and lineages. Women gifted their rings to their daughters as they smashed their own milestones; the rings became a beacon of passing on the torch of female success.
If you’re purchasing a new ring, there aren't any rules to the trend. Buy one ring – or even four. Choose pretty pastels. Pick your birth stone. Heck, wear it on any finger you want! Be bold with a jewel-encrusted gold piece, go minimal with a stacking ring, or stick to the classics with a white solitaire. When in the market for a right-hand ring, you're in ‘treat yourself’ territory – and that means that as long as you like it, anything goes.
While these rings have come to represent individuality and single womanhood, the ring’s meaning may change depending on who purchases it. If a husband gives his wife a right-hand ring, it symbolizes a renewal of wedding vows or anniversaries. They may also serve as promise rings for dedicated partners or those taking a vow of chastity. Right-hand rings can also be gifted to mothers upon the birth of a child — for an older mother, a ring engraved with the names of her kids becomes a precious keepsake.

At its core, these rings serve as a reminder — to yourself and to the people around you — that you've done something impressive. And that you are, by definition as a woman, also impressive.

This March 8th is International Women’s Day, a day that honors the fight for our rights as women — to end hunger, poverty, and domestic violence;to fight for gender equality and to rally around each other as women.
Women matter. Women count. And women can make a difference.