Pinky Ring Meanings That Go Beyond a Fashion Statement

You can rock a pinky ring just for style, but these rings also have some unique cultural and historic meanings. Explore some of the symbolism behind the bling.

Updated February 12, 2024
Woman wearing multiple rings on her fingers

Over time, the pinky finger has had its moments in the spotlight, rocking some serious bling and catching eyes across the board. Many have shown their little fingers some major love by slipping on snazzy pinky rings.

Want to ooze authority, boost your chatter game, or flaunt your free spirit? This tiny ring on that little finger can boast tons of style just for the sake of fashion, but it could also pack a mighty punch of message. Here are a few meanings that pinky rings can have.

1. Family Pride

There's nothing more important than family, and the Scottish in particular love to show their ancestral pride. Many Scottish families have a rich history, having faced tons of battles back in the day. And after all those years of bloodshed, the Scots started sporting their family crest on their pinky rings.

Not only do these rings show which clan you belong to, but there's an unwritten rank system within the clans. The family crests were also used to seal messages in wax back in the carrier pigeon days, kind of like a return label. 

2. A Sign of Self-Love 

While a band on your ring finger communicates relationship status or affection, the pinky finger can do the complete opposite. A ring on this finger can be a sign of self-love versus relationship love. What's really fascinating is that men and women in the Victorian era wore pinky rings to ward off romantic prospects. It was a show of self-reliance in a time of big-time tradition.

Female wrist with trendy ring on the pinky finger

In 2016, Melody Godfred also started a self-love pinky ring movement, focusing on a commitment to self versus a commitment to others. More than a style, a pinky ring can be empowering when it comes to loving yourself first. 

3. A Secret Signal in Plain Sight

Gold rings, worn on the right pinky ring finger, or a single earring on a specific ear, were ways the LGBT community originally "signaled" to each other in public. For a community that's made up of every race, gender, and presentation, having signals that could be openly worn and not recognized by the larger populace were critical ways of building community and identifying safe people who you could be yourself with.

Today, while it's a lot safer to be openly queer in many U.S. communities, the ring is still worn by some as a signal to each other to help identify others or to pay tribute to LGBTQIA+ history. Since recognizing each other in a room is still hard, like it was before, this is a signal some use to say, "I'm safe" or "I'm like you."

4. It's Criminal

Get this: Mafiosos sport the pinky ring. Why? To fund their funerals. Legend has it that when a goodfella enters eternal slumber, his associates are responsible for hosting the funeral. So the pinky ring he wears from day to day is his insurance policy, of sorts, to ensure all gets taken care of. In addition, the rings could identify them as members of the group and represent loyalty. 

5. A Connection With the Stars

The clairvoyant folk typically associate the pinky with the Roman god, Mercury. This god was the keeper of boundaries, the bridgeway between the upper and lower worlds, and communication. He also enjoyed some well-written poetry. Although you can't make a ring out of the hazardous element mercury to sport on the day-to-day, you can use your pinky ring to summon the values that Mercury's piece of the Roman pantheon represents. 

Need to Know

Essentially, you can use this ring to send a message to appease the mighty Mercury.

6. Career Pride

The Mafia isn't the only career whose members flash the mighty pinky ring. Engineers also keep it in their wardrobes. Once they complete their studies, engineers get their coveted stainless steel pinky ring as a rite of passage. As engineers, they belong to the United States Order of the Engineer, and the ring symbolizes a commitment to the standards of the engineering profession. 

7. Money, Money, Money 

Ever notice that successful people like Sean Combs, Ringo Starr, Prince Charles, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Drake and Future, Kim Kardashian, and Brad Pitt have been spotted rocking pinky rings? It's not a coincidence. Pinky rings can show power and status. 

King Charles III

Historically, pink rings were associated with royalty, wealth, or affluence. Pinkies are also believed to link to money and success (according to palmistry, the money triangle can be under the little finger). 

Quick Tip

Next time you watch MSNBC for your stock status, key in on the number of pinky rings you see. It's an interesting experiment.

8. Tap Into Your Communication Skills  

As mentioned earlier, the pinky is the finger associated with communication, and writing and speaking are two pretty important contenders in that arena. It's said that when you don a pinky ring (especially one with moonstone, amber, or citrine), you subconsciously tap into your inner communication skills. Whether you need to increase your charisma or scale back your babbling, a pinky ring might be the charm you're looking for.

Quick Tip

If an author has writer's block, it might be helpful to put on that ring of power to help break through it.

A Small Ring That Can Be More Than Meets the Eye

Sometimes a pinky ring is just a pinky ring — and makes a fantastic fashion statement. But other times it might be full of meaning. When hunting for your perfect ring, aim for one that screams "you" in all the right ways. 

Pinky Ring Meanings That Go Beyond a Fashion Statement