Like a good story, ring stacks are a form of art. Think of rings as different characters to write a story with. Wear and stack your rings in different ways to create entirely new looks.
With so much versatility in the ring stacking game, we summarized the best tips and must-haves to build a ring stack. This quick guide will get you started.
Move your rings around on other fingers. See if the rings fit on your thumb or above the knuckle. Your finger size changes from day to night and over the years. Plus: your fingers have different sizes. A reason not to worry if your ring feels a bit loose or tight!
Ring Stacking Consideration #1:
number of rings
Can you stack too many rings? Yes and no. While it’s perfectly fine to stack 10 rings at a time on different fingers, stacking all of them on one finger is definitely too much. So spread your rings across all ten fingers so the two sides feel balanced (and the two hands feel loved!).
Balance: which fingers to stack your rings on?
Wear rings on up to four fingers of your hand at a time, leaving at least one finger bare. Most prefer to leave their pinky or thumb free of rings. For just the right amount of balance, experiment with an uneven number of fingers to wear your rings on, like three, five or seven fingers out of ten.
You can create balance by:
Wearing rings on an uneven number of fingers
Wearing ring stacks of different heights on the different fingers
Creating negative space
Have one finger as a focus finger with a high stack, then wear only 1 or 2 rings on your other fingers
Wear rings on an uneven number of fingers, like three, five or seven fingers out of ten
Leave one or more fingers bare
Wear plain rings as a breather
Play with the space and gaps between rings - rings don’t necessarily need to sit against each other perfectly
Having your rings climb up to the knuckles or creating a muffin top - keep your blood flowing, please!
Balance: how many rings do you stack?
When deciding how many rings to stack on one finger, think about both the total width of the rings and the height of the rings on your other fingers. Ideally, on each hand you have one finger with a stack higher than the other fingers. The exact height of this stack depends on how many you can stack without creating that uncomfortable “muffin top”.
Mixing the metal colors of your rings is one way to show some grunge. Mixing metals is all about rocking contrasting shades. And when you’re intentional about mixing different metals, it becomes a statement on its own. Back then, mixing metals was considered tacky, but if you work with simple textures and minimal gemstones, it can look sophisticated and effortless.
Does stacking rings damage them?
Stacking rings doesn’t damage them when done correctly. Although we suggest mixing up the metal colors we recommend staying with the same karat or gold content. That way, your rings won’t rub down on each other. If you stack a 14k gold ring with an 18K gold ring, the 18 karat ring will get scratched, since it's softer.
Pick one main metal as the dominant color
Wear rings of different widths and with different textures
Keep gemstone colors to a minimum
Consider the metal color of your bracelets, necklace and earrings too
Wearing metal rings with different gold content or gold quality (read more about gold karat here) together regularly. Over time, rings made of harder metal (say, 14k gold) will scratch the softer rings (say, 18k gold) and turn the metal dull.
Wearing different metal colors on fingers too far apart, because the contrast - which is the whole point of mixing metals - won’t be as obvious
Not considering your skin undertone, outfit, or other accessories you’re wearing
"Don't be afraid to experiment and try new things. Stones don't all have to match, nor does the metal. Mix gold and silver. Have fun!"
- Liana Wheeler Bruno
Ring Stacking Consideration #3:
When it comes to ring stacking, deciding the colors to wear is like acknowledging the feelings you have for the day. Do you feel colorful, radiant, and energetic or do you feel more reserved, introspective and calm? Express your emotions with the colors of gemstones of your jewelry.
Colors you don’t like (though this might be obvious, you may tempted to wear colors on the edge of dislike, just because the colors look good on our skin - you don’t have to)
Wearing too many colors on different fingers - that’s just noise, my friend
Ring Stacking Consideration #4:
There's one simple rule when it comes to the position of your rings: stack in triangles.
Wear a low stack left, a high stack middle and a low stack right
Wear a high stack left, low stack middle and high stack right
Wear one ring left, one knuckle ring on the left and a single ring right
Taking this too seriously; your triangle doesn't have to be perfect or symmetrical
Build Your Dream Ring Stack
We explained before how building a ring stack is kind of like writing a story. The rings represent the different characters in your story. These are the main characters in your story:
The main character in your story and the focal point in the set.
The helpers to complement your centerpiece.
The wide ring
The balancer to round up the look and add more edge.
The dainty pop of color or texture in between.
The optional wingman to your centerpiece.
the character on the sideline (like literally, we’re talking about the rings on other fingers)
Now let’s see where to wear each ring, aka what role each character plays in the story.
Got a diamond ring inherited from your grandma? Or a green sapphire ring? An amethyst cocktail ring? Whether it’s your engagement ring or not, your solitaire ring or cocktail ring is the centerpiece of your ring stack. If the solitaire ring is meaningful to you, that’s an extra reason to feature it as the focal point of your stack.
Alone, they’re fab - in a stack, they're a mood.
Ask yourself this: which ring you absolutely want to wear today? Which one calls out your name and is a must-wear for the day? That will be your base ring.
Curved bands come in different shapes! The V shaped band goes well with sharp edges, like a kite-cut or a geometric cut. The more rounded curved band goes well with rounded shapes.
Curved bands are a must-have in your jewelry box. They’re details, visually more interesting than a plain straight band, complementing any gemstone rings you have rather than taking away the attention from them. Curved bands are like a gentle hug to a solitaire gemstone ring.
Plus there’s a certain feeling of pleasure when rings you got at different points in life somehow fit seamlessly together!
Curved nesting bands don’t have to be plain! These nesting bands come with garnet or moonstone.
We have a cheat sheet of sorts for you. These ring sets are soulmates meant to be worn together, so you don’t have to worry about creating seamless stacks yourself.
With their unique shape, these hexagon bands can frame any gemstone and highlight them as works of art hanging out on your fingers.
Now let’s talk about hexagon rings. No joke, we’re talking about art here. Some artwork looks great as is, without any embellishments. Some pop out that little bit more with the addition of frames. That’s what these hexagon rings are all about. Their shape is great for framing rings with gemstones while adding a little negative space to allow your stone to breathe.
You can pretty much pair these with any shape of gemstone; geometric, rounded, marquise, oval, or even rough and uncut stones.
Add stones (one or multiple) to your curved nesting band for oomph
Pair your shaped band with a straight ring for a more unorthodox look!
"Love your crooked knuckles and calluses. As our hands age, we often resist drawing attention to them. Celebrate them and all they did to get you here. That's the art. Now cover them in rings that make you smile."
- Dennie Theodore
The wide ring
Chunky rings are statement pieces - yes, even if they’re stoneless, they’re not necessarily plain. They’re perfect for stacking because whatever you put on top of them, people will immediately take notice of. Their contrast to dainty rings makes them look kinda badass.
Chunky rings also look great next to a stack of rings. The variations in size creates a difference in heights (climbing up your finger), and asymmetry catches the eye. It’s a fun challenge to balance out your chunky ring vs your stack of rings.
“I have a habit of wearing multiple rings all at once, and at least one of them would be on the chunkier side. Rings upwards of 4mm in width. I always need something a little more delicate to stack my rings with to balance out the look.”
Add one or two chunky rings with different textures to your collection
Stack wide bands with a daintier ring or wear it on its own, next to a ring stack
A single stone or a line up of hidden gems? Or maybe both in the same stack?
We can’t resist a little color, and these are as subtle as they get. Dainty rings with gemstone accents are muy importante to have in your arsenal if you like stacking rings. They serve as quick winks of color to compliment your outfit or your moods. They can accentuate your stack of plain silver rings.
“I mostly wear individual rings, but every now and again, I like to pair my rings. It’s nice to be able to have something that can be worn both ways.” While she has one or two rings with sizable stone centerpieces, she always seems to go for rings of the daintier variety. “My favorite is my amethyst hidden gems ring. It has a splash of color, but it’s subtle. It’s the right size for everyday wear.”
- Cecilia Evita
Play around pairing different gemstone shapes. If there’s a gap between the rings, let them be. Mismatch or match your ring stack any way you want.
Unlike nesting bands which tend to go below, a crown ring sits on top of another ring. They're called crown rings for obvious reasons: they’re ornate, colorful and a showstopper! With its pointy center up, the crown ring can make your finger look more slender. When paired with another ring, you’ll create a killer duo.
To stack a crown ring without looking ‘too much’, start with something minimal and simple. Let the crown ring be the centerpiece. Pay attention to the width and the shape of the band. Make sure it complements the crown ring’s band. We think a seamless set works best with crown rings.
A crown ring set easily makes a showstopper stack
Since the crown ring already has so much going on, be very careful about mixing metals. You want to avoid your hands looking cluttered and incoherent.
Pairs well with a base ring or a solitaire
Let’s talk about the other fingers. Now that we’ve given so much love to one of your fingers, you might be wondering: how about the other ones?
A quick tip is to create another stack or put a single ring on the second to next finger. So if you’re wearing a stack on your ring finger, adorn your index finger with another stack or a single ring.
Even better: wear double rings. Yes we know this ring can look a bit intimidating, but far from it, it’s actually pretty damn versatile. Few reasons why: it serves as a visual trick to cover more room on your finger, it has more than enough breathing space, and it balances the stack next door. When your towering stack feels somehow heavy, add a ‘sideline’ on another finger, and voila: an instant upgrade to your look.
Pop any one of these in when you feel unsure about your ring stacking game. They can balance the look without adding too much weight.
Like a skyline, the height of your ring towers on different fingers is better when varied.
Make room by creating a stack with gaps. You don’t want it to look (and feel) crowded!
There’s no exact science to ring stacking - that’s why it’s an art. It’s very much subjective. The emphasis is on instinct, because when you put on your rings for the day, it represents how you feel and which gemstones speak to your particular needs and mood at that moment in time.
Having the choice of select staple pieces will help you balance out your choices and create a number of looks. Imagine how many ring combinations you can create with just three or four rings.
The secret sauce is always confidence. Confidence in your choices, confidence in yourself. With that, you can pretty much put on any combo of rings and look fabulous.