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.
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 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.