What Is the Meaning Behind a Black Ring?
If it seems as if an unusual number of people are wearing striking all-black rings lately, it’s not your imagination. Black rings are incredibly popular these days for a variety of reasons. They’re simple while also being unique. They’re also beautiful, versatile, tasteful, and look amazing on absolutely everyone.
But is there anything behind a person’s decision to wear a black ring beyond a simple style preference? What do black rings symbolize, who might especially want to wear one, and why? Here’s a closer look at some potential black ring meaning examples a jewelry lover should be aware of before they buy.
What Is the Importance of the Color Black?
Whether you’re talking about an all-black option like an onyx wedding band or a more traditional gold or silver metal band set with a black gemstone, the color of a ring definitely speaks to its potential meaning. However, the color black is unique in that its potential meanings are varied and complex. Here’s a closer look at a few examples.
Black can be associated with mourning
In many cultures, especially in the West, black has strong, near-universal associations with death and mourning. People wear black to honor and mourn for dead loved ones. And scientifically speaking, the color black actually attracts and absorbs light, lending it a symbolic depth that’s both mysterious and intriguing.
Black can symbolize protection
Not all cultures would automatically interpret the color black’s connection to the unknown in a negative light, of course. For example, black was strongly associated with important concepts like protection and deep spiritual knowledge in many parts of Asia, as well as in Ancient Greece and Rome. For that reason, it’s not uncommon for people to wear onyx rings as a form of spiritual protection.
Black can also mean strength and courage
The link between black rings and protection means onyx, black opal, obsidian, and similar materials automatically correlate to concepts like strength and invincibility. After all, a person with protection against mysterious spiritual forces is surely a person who’s brave, strong, and forthright, as well.
Black can even mean love
When a culture assigns a black ring meaning like strength or courage to the idea of wearing an onyx wedding band or similar, it’s also making a powerful statement about love – particularly the kind of love that leads people to marry. Some even believe deliberately choosing a black wedding band is a testament to the strength of the love it represents.
It’s ultimately up to the wearer to decide what the meaning of their own ring happens to be. What does the color black symbolize to you, and what would drive you to wear a black ring? Do you picture it lending you strength, sealing your love in stone, reminding you of a deceased loved one, or something else entirely?
When Did Black Rings Become So Popular?
Although the full history behind a black ring meaning dates all the way back to the days of glorious Rome and the great empires of Asia, it’s not hard to see why many people see black rings as a modern trend.
They first began to hit the mainstream during the Victorian era when Queen Victoria herself wore a black ring to honor the deceased Prince Albert.
Back then, members of a royal family were to everyday citizens what celebrities and influencers are to the general public today – people who captured the imagination and inspired trends. So, naturally, it didn’t take Victoria’s black ring very long to also influence everyone else’s tastes in jewelry.
Black rings have been part of the fashion scene ever since to one degree or another. For example, you saw them showing up a lot during the rock and roll era, as well as here and there on the fingers of stylish people. Other contexts in which modern people have noticed black rings include the following:
- Police officers sometimes choose black wedding rings because they’re relatively inconspicuous and help them keep a low profile while on the job.
- In some circles, black is a color of protest. Many groups dedicated to causes like human rights and justice choose black rings to symbolize everything they fight so hard for.
- Starting in the mid-2010s, members of the asexual community sometimes wore black rings on their middle fingers to show they weren’t pursuing any associated connections.
- Some married couples within swingers communities use black rings to subtly signal they’re open to exploration with other people.
- Past and present members of the military may wear what’s called the 22KILL Honor Ring on their index fingers, a special black ring meant to honor veterans.
In other words, wearing a black ring today is often a way to both stand out and be unique while also signaling solidarity with other members of certain niche groups.
What Types of Black Rings Are Popular Today?
Black is truly one of the most versatile colors out there from a fashion standpoint. It goes with everything, looks good on everyone, and feels appropriate in almost any context. These are all important qualities for an item like a ring to have, especially one likely to be worn daily because of its deeper meaning.
The following are just a few key examples of black ring types that especially appeal to modern people.
Remember, black onyx has a longstanding connection to the concept of protection. Many people still value it as a potential healing gemstone today for that reason. However, black onyx is also a practical choice for frequent if not daily wear.
As a gem, black onyx scores a nice, reliable 7 on the Mohs scale, so it’s fairly durable. It’s smooth without too high a shine to it, so it’s beautiful in a classy, understated way. And despite being fairly rare, black onyx is also relatively wallet-friendly.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking every black ring is a gemstone ring of one kind or another. Also sometimes called black amber, black jet is an organic gemstone derived from fossilized wood. (How’s that for unique?) In fact, Queen Victoria’s famously trendy mourning ring was made of black jet.
However, those interested in wearing black jet should be aware that the average specimen only falls between a 2 and a 4 on the Mohs scale, so you need to wear it with more care than an onyx or stronger gemstone.
Natural materials lend themselves well to many black ring meaning possibilities, especially those associated with depth and spiritual strength, and black pearl rings are no exception.
Whether natural or cultured, black pearls are elegant, lustrous, and classic while also being unique. In Tahitian legend, they were a gift from the peace god Oro, so they symbolize blessings and everlasting love for many people. However, like black jet, a black pearl will only rate about a 2 or a 3 on the Mohs scale, so wear with care.
Of course, not everyone who likes the idea of wearing a black ring also likes the idea of wearing a more unique option like a black pearl or a nice chunk of black jet. For some, only a diamond ring will ever really do, and that’s where black diamonds come in.
Today, black diamonds are among the most desired and valuable gems in the world, as you can only find natural specimens in a few areas around the world. They’re also quite hardy, even for diamonds, as they score a formidable Mohs 10 – ideal for people who want a ring that epitomizes strength, value, uniqueness, and sophistication.
Just as diamonds don’t simply come in sparkling white, not all sapphires are brilliant blue, either. In fact, you should really know that sapphires can be many different colors, including, pink, yellow, green, and grey. And, yes, they can also be black.
Like black diamonds, black sapphires are on the rare side, so they definitely represent value, exoticness, and individuality. And with a 9 on the Mohs scale, they’re right behind black diamonds in the durability department, so they’re perfect for black rings you plan to wear every day.
Of course, not everyone is a gemstone kind of person. So, if you like rings made of cool, sophisticated metal instead, you’re in luck. Technological processes like electroplating and laser treatments have made wonders like stunning, striking black gold possible.
There are other black metals available, as well, each with its own unique energy to bring to your personal black ring meaning.
- Black steel is hardy and practical while remaining beautiful, leading to associations with concepts like power and impenetrability.
- Black titanium is rising in popularity as a ring material choice thanks to its ability to resist scratches. Many people associate it with modernity and strength for that reason.
- Black tungsten is beautiful, rare, and quite durable, so it’s a great metal choice for those who dare to be different. It’s especially popular for wedding rings, as tungsten has associations with commitment, fortitude, and steadfastness.
Ring lovers who dig the idea and look of a black metal ring but can’t wear metal due to allergies or other sensitivities might want to consider black ceramic. It’s as hard as many of the hardest metals, it’s beautiful, and it’s low-maintenance. However, it’s also lightweight and very easy to wear.
What Does a Black Wedding Ring Say About Someone?
As you can see, the color black has many potential meanings, and people might choose to wear black rings for any number of reasons. However, their popularity as wedding ring choices is still relatively trendy and new.
A wedding ring is perhaps the most symbolic, socially significant ring a person can wear, so what you ultimately choose says a lot about you and your relationship. Here are some of the potential messages people hope to send by choosing black wedding rings.
“I’m confident in my uniqueness”
The world is full of unique people who truly march to the beats of their own drummers. However, not everyone is comfortable standing out instead of making the easier choice to fit in. Choosing a black wedding ring tells people you’re proud of who you are, comfortable with the ways you’re different, and confident in your identity.
“My relationship breaks the mold”
The days when there was really only one way to look at a commitment as monumental as marriage are over. Today, many people prefer to interweave older traditions – like those associated with marriage – with their own beliefs, values, and points of view.
This includes in regard to their relationships. Couples who choose black wedding rings tend to be couples whose relationships differ from the expected, and that’s one way they celebrate that and demonstrate it to the rest of the world.
“I’m not interested in an ordinary life”
So many of the details of a couple’s wedding are thought to set the stage for their ongoing future together. And while some people want the traditional fairytale complete with two kids, a white picket fence, and a dog, others are excited about blazing their own trails.
Some couples want to see the world, while others want to take it by storm. Still more are simply open to whatever the future may bring their way. Black wedding rings fit in perfectly with that type of outlook.
That said, go with a black wedding ring if you’re someone who not only stands out but is proud of that fact. The fact that there’s an associated black ring meaning tied to eternal, unbreakable love can be a nice bonus to consider.
Ultimately, the best ring choice for you is the choice that fits your personality, your belief system, your lifestyle, and your ongoing hopes for your future. So, decide which black ring meaning suits you best, consider your options, and choose accordingly.