What are Friendship Rings?

Diana Bocco

Rings have been worn for centuries as much more than decoration. The tradition of wearing rings to represent the belonging to a group or to mean union and understanding go back as far back as the ancient Egyptians. The most common type of union ring is the marriage band, followed by engagement rings. However, there are other types of rings that have become popular over the last few decades, including friendship rings.

Friendship rings often feature gems such as amethyst.
Friendship rings often feature gems such as amethyst.

These rings are used to symbolize a close relationship that has no romantic undertone. They are often sold in pairs and worn by two people to denote their appreciation and unconditional support for each other. Many cultures regard friendship rings as a way of saying that the other person is a "non-blood brother or sister," the closest somebody can get to you without being related by birth.

Many close friends wear friendship rings.
Many close friends wear friendship rings.

Many people wear these rings are often worn on the little finger, as a way of differentiating them from regular rings; however, this is not a set rule, and many people wear their friendship rings as they would any other ring.

Irish Claddagh rings are traditionally associated with love and couples, but are now being used more and more often to symbolize also friendship. A Claddagh ring consists of two hands holding a crowned heart, which has a multitude of interpretations. Friendship rings are often worn by very young people, which is why Claddagh rings can be used without running the risk of others confusing their meaning.

Most friendship rings are simple. Sometimes the ring has the word "friend" printed or engraved on it and sometimes it's just a simple band. These rings often avoid a design that may confuse them with an engagement ring or a wedding band, such as a solitary diamond or a plain gold band. Friendship rings can also be homemade with craft beads or similar materials, as the meaning of the ring has little to do with its quality.

Some friendship rings may be exchanged between romantic couples.
Some friendship rings may be exchanged between romantic couples.

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Discussion Comments

anon132235

Is she your best friend? Do you love her and never stop being her best friend no matter what happens? Then why not! So long as you explain the significance of the rings to both of your fiances.

anon59432

My best friend and I have been friends over a little over a year but we have always had problems. I want to get her a friendship ring that basically says, "thanks for always be there and having my back, you're such a good friend and thanks for never leaving me when i needed someone to talk to! You're the only one that i could talk to and you would listen to me and not judge me for it either. that's why i say you're really only the true friend who I can count on for a really long time. I love you girl and you will always be my best friend forever!"

anon6277

Okay both in late 20's good friends- she is engaged to someone i am engaged to someone else. Is it still proper to exchange simple silver Claddagh rings for friendship?

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