Kings, Rings, and Earrings

History of Men’s Jewelry and How it’s Becoming More Popular



Juniors Buddy Porelle (top) and Finnley Packer (bottom) show off their gold and silver jewelry.

Men’s jewelry isn’t necessarily new, but it’s becoming noticeably more popular among men of all ages: children, teens, adults, and the elderly. While necklaces and chains have always been popular, rings and bracelets are starting to appear more.

“I think piercings are sick and jewelry can be such a nice touch to an outfit,” said senior Colin Webber.

Webber frequently wears chains and bracelets as well as rings. Most recently he’s gotten his septum pierced. Piercings are another type of jewelry that’s started becoming more popular among men. Mostly ear piercings, but other facial piercings such as eyebrow and dermal piercings have been popularized among different styles.

Dating back to 2,500 BC men have been wearing jewelry, mostly as a sign of their social status. This included threaded gold and silver as well as gemstone pendants. Jewelry was worn to show off a person’s wealth, and was worn by kings and upper class citizens. According to’s article, “Men Wore Way More Jewelry In The Past Than They Do Today, But Why?” by Genevieve Carlton, jewels were sewn into clothing, worn in large thick chains and embedded into gold and silver rings. Because jewelry was a way to show off one’s status, men didn’t want women to be the only one wearing it.

Ear piercings were also popular among the wealthy. Pearls, diamonds, and other gemstones draped from hooped earrings. Carlton also says how earrings started becoming less and less popular as time went on, but they remained very popular among pirates. The earrings had value and would be melted down and sold to afford a proper funeral when a pirate died.

As time passed, jewelry started to become more popular among all social classes. This does not mean it’s not still used to show a person’s wealth, that’s just not always the purpose. Men’s wedding bands became popular in the mid twentieth-century.  Soldiers in wars would wear them as a means of remembering their loved ones. It wasn’t until after the Korean War that men’s wedding rings started to hold the sentimental value they do today.

Aside from wedding bands, men now wear rings to help style an outfit or because they like the way they look wearing them. Sterling silver rings are the most popular because they’re not too expensive and they come in many different looks. Some are defined by a large skull shape or an animal such as a wolf or snake, but many are also small and calming like a ring with a smooth finish.

Junior Buddy Porelle has been known to wear rings, and when asked about what sparked his interest in mens jewelry he had this to say.

“Seeing celebrities and other people influenced me to start wearing jewelry, and once I started wearing jewelry I got more interested in it and wanted to buy more”

Because of the norm of jewelry being for women, it would be expected that men with piercings and rings would receive negative feedback, but that’s not always the case. Porelle mentioned how he almost never gets any negative feedback on his jewelry. “I actually get many compliments on my jewelry, especially my rings,” said Porelle.