I have always loved rings. When I was little, I borrowed them from my mom’s jewelry box and bought them at thrift stores and second hand shops. In high school, my art teacher Mrs. Robinson set up a jewelry work table in the art room and I learned how to make my own rings in metal. A few more classes and many years later, I’m still making them, and wearing them all the time!
I get asked about ring stacking a lot - from how to build a stack, to which rings go with other rings, to how to choose a wedding band that fits well with an engagement ring. In general, my response is always a version of “there are no rules and wear whatever you want”. This is pretty much my motto when it comes to most things. But there are a few things to know that might be helpful when it comes to choosing rings. I’m going to share some of those here.
Since rings are my favorite, there are more rings than anything else in the collection. When I shoot photographs for new collections, I try to get photographs of the rings on a hand, in a few different combinations, so that you can see what a ring might look like on it’s own and with another ring. But with so many rings, and so many different combinations possible, I can never get them all. So I take a lot of ring stack “hand selfies” for folks to help them decide what combinations they like best. Over the years, I’ve built up quite a pile of these photos, and I thought that I’d archive some of them here, so that you can also see what different ring stacks look like together.
Most of these ring stacking photos are just taken on my camera phone, wherever I can find some good light. It’s a bit awkward to photograph hands, but still easier than trying to draw them.
If you have rings with bezel-set stones like the above picture, you might want the rings that you wear with them to be able to slide underneath the stone. If so, you want to pay attention to the ring thickness. By this, I mean the thickness that you feel between your fingers. Most of my rings are between 1mm-1.5mm thick, but there are a handful that are a little bit thicker than that. If you have a ring with a larger stone in a bezel, like those pictured above, and you want the band(s) sitting next to it to be able to slide under the bezel-set stone, then you want to get a band that is the same thickness or less than the band with the stone.
For example, in the above picture here are the measurements for each ring left to right:
The Rope ring is 2mm wide and 1.8mm thick. The Katherine Sapphire ring is on a 2mm wide and 1mm thick band. The 3mm Alcott ring is a half round band measuring 3mm wide and 1.5mm thick. The Grand Pré Opal ring is on a round band measuring 1.25mm thick. The 2mm Alcott is a 2mm wide and 1.5mm thick band. The 5mm Beacon Moonstone ring is on a 1.5mm thick square band.
So if you were wearing the 5mm Beacon Moonstone ring, any band measuring 1.5mm or less would easily slide under the bezel. The woman I took these photos for ended up going for the 5mm Beacon Moonstone with the plain Rope ring and they look great together.
Because the Grand Pré Opal ring and the Katherine ring are on slightly thinner bands, if they were worn with the half round Alcott bands in the picture and/or the Rope ring, they would sit next to the bands, instead of the band sliding under the bezel set stone.
If you wanted to wear the Grand Pré Opal ring with the 2mm Alcott ring you could special-order the Alcott as a slightly thinner band, 1.25 mm thick instead of 1.5mm thick, or get the Grand Pré Opal ring on a slightly thicker band (1.5mm instead of 1.25mm), or you could wear a thinner band in between as a spacer, like the skinny Thetis rings, the Terence band, or a Highsmith band.
Personally I love mixing ring textures and shapes, like the above stack.
If you plan on wearing multiple rings with stones, it can also be nice to have some plain or textured bands in between them as spacers. The texture on the plain bands can really highlight the stones in the stack.
And if you’re planning for a really tall stack of rings, you may want some of the rings to be a little bit looser. This can also be a great way to wear a ring that might be a little too big to wear all on its own. If the ring on top is smaller and fits snugly, it will keep the rest of the rings in place.
As I said at the beginning of this post, there are no rules. You can wear anything you like together. The most important thing is to have fun with it! And it’s never too late to add a ring to your stack.
Also, if there are rings that you’d love to see photographed together, leave me a note in the comments and I’ll add it to this post or share it on Instagram. And if you’ve got a great ring stack going, I’d love to see it! Send me a pic to firstname.lastname@example.org