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Ring on a Necklace

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Fashionable and minimizes any corrupting Artifact of Doom influences.

Won't you wear my ring around your neck
To tell the world I'm yours, by heck
Let them see your love for me
And let them see by the ring around your neck
Elvis Presley, "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck"

Rings are extremely common pieces of jewellery that often carry some special significance to a person, especially if it was given to them by another person they care for. Rings are usually designed to be worn on fingers, but in this case a character opts for a less conventional approach, instead wearing a ring on a necklace like a pendant. This is often done to keep whoever gave them the ring symbolically close to them, while not having it more obviously on-show for personal reasons. Common reasons include:

  • A character gets engaged or married in secret; as a result, they might wear an engagement or wedding ring on a necklace tucked out of sight, seeing as wearing it on their finger would kinda give away the 'secret' part. This tends to be more common in stories with historical or fantasy settings, though it's not unheard of in more modern/mundane settings if the relationship is secret for some reason.
  • A character's significant other has died. They may not want to wear a ring of commitment on their finger anymore — especially as this tends to invite awkward questions about their relationship status — but they still want it close to them, so wearing it on a necklace is their next best bet. In this case, it can potentially symbolise that the character still misses their lost love, but may be willing to move on (which is likely good news for another character intending to woo them). Alternatively, it might be their loved one's ring rather than their own, and it's either the wrong size or they just don't feel comfortable wearing it on their hand.
  • The character wants the ring with them at all times but just doesn't want to risk it getting lost, damaged, or stolen, especially if they work with their hands a lot.
  • It could also be that the ring wasn't originally designed/bought for them, so it won't fit on their finger. This is especially so if a child is given an adult's ring (often a parent's); they may plan on wearing the ring on their hand once they're older, though not always.
  • In more fantastical settings the ring might be enchanted or cursed. If it only activates when worn on a finger, this might be done to keep it close without activating its properties, as per the The Lord of the Rings example used as the page image.
  • In games where the player has a set number of equipment slots for rings, if there's also a slot for amulets this might be permitted as a way to use one more ring than normally allowed.

Although a lot of examples involve wedding/engagement rings and romantic relationships, it's not exclusive to this; the ring just has to hold some kind of importance or sentimental value to the character. More rarely, the necklace itself (such as a chain, a length of ribbon, etc) may also have some significance to the wearer.

A Sub-Trope of Meaningful Appearance.

Compare and contrast with Fashion-Based Relationship Cue, which this trope occasionally overlaps with. This trope also has a good chance of overlapping with Tragic Keepsake and Orphan's Plot Trinket. Not to be confused with Ring Around the Collar.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In A Bride's Story, when Talas catches up with Henry and he pledges to marry her, the only thing he has on him to give to her as proof of his commitment is his signet ring with his family's crest on it. Because it's far too large for her finger, Talas threads it into the cord of an amulet she wears around her neck instead.
  • 004 of Cyborg 009 was known to wear the engagement ring he gave his late beloved on a chain.
  • In the manga adaptation of The Decagon House Murders, Van wears one of these. It makes him look rather fashionable. It's also of the Secret Relationship type, half of a pair he'd exchanged with his Lost Lenore Chiyori, who he's committing the murders to avenge. Chiyori's ring was passed down to her Best Friend Orczy, which is why Van killed her first: the ring was engraved with his and Chiyori's initials, so it would give away his motive if anyone noticed it. Van killed her first and chopped off her hand (just stealing the ring would have just drawn attention to it) to ensure nobody else saw it.
  • In Great Pretender, Laurent wears a gold ring with a blue stone on a necklace around his neck. It belonged to his lover Dorothy, who gave it to him when they vowed to get married. Now that she's dead, it's the only thing he has left of her.
  • Kuroko's Basketball: Kagami and Himuro each wear necklace with one ring on it, which serve as symbols of their brotherhood. They became brothers because of basketball, so after Himuro became Kagami's rival and later lost to him in the Winter Cup, Himuro gave his neckless to Kagami to end their brotherhood. However, Kuroko convinced Kagami to give Himuro his necklace back and become brothers with him again.
  • A Man and His Cat has the titular old man wear his wedding ring as a necklace. He's getting older, so he can't afford to wear the ring on his frail fingers anymore. He also keeps his wife's ring on the necklace too, since she too was getting frail and eventually passed away.
  • In Mission: Yozakura Family, Taiyo keeps his wedding ring as a necklace tucked under his collar, as wearing it on his finger would be too conspicuous in public for a Japanese high school student. This is also what keeps it from getting swiped by the rules-stickling substitute teacher.
  • In Tales of Wedding Rings, main character Nokana wears a pair of wedding rings on a necklace. She's actually a princess from a parallel world and the rings are magical, intended for her and her husband when she gets married.

    Fan Works 
  • In Alone, Together, Shego keeps her wedding ring on a neck chain so that she doesn't accidentally destroy it with her Hand Blast powers.
  • The Black Prince: Harry can't find his signet ring that his father had given to him, and eventually discovers that Eggsy has been wearing it on a chain around his neck. He gives it back when they break up.
  • In the Dangerverse, all members of the Pack have magic necklaces that were made from rings which had great value to them. Later, the non-Pack members of the Pride get similar necklaces.
  • In Second Chances (TheNovelArtist), after losing Nathanael, Marinette wears her wedding ring as a necklace. The day she and Adrien have their first date, it takes her a lot of effort to leave it at home.
  • In the Twice Upon an Age series, one character wears the Tethras family signet ring on a chain around her neck in order to keep it safe for its rightful owner. Whether the ring is also intended as Her Boyfriend's Jacket is the subject of much speculation by other members of the cast.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Black Panther, Killmonger wears a ring on a chain around his neck. The ring once belonged to his father, N'Jobu, and the only other ring like it belonged to King T'Chaka. Along with holding sentimental significance, the ring serves as proof that the orphaned Killmonger has royal blood.
  • The Crow: After retrieving the engagement ring he gave to his murdered fiancée Shelly, Eric wears it on a chain because the ring is likely too small to fit on his fingers and he has to get his hands dirty avenging both their deaths. He eventually gives the ring and necklace to his young friend Sarah, saying he thinks Shelly would've wanted her to have it. Eric himself no longer needs the ring because he hopes to be reunited with Shelly soon enough. Sarah wears it around her neck too, probably because the ring wouldn't fit her child-sized fingers, plus in this case, the ring is being given as a symbol of friendship and parental-like love.
  • In D-Tox, Malloy starts wearing his fiancée Mary's engagement ring on a chain after she's murdered. After killing the murderer at the end of the film, Malloy leaves the ring hanging from a tree branch.
  • The Lord of the Rings: As in the book, Frodo begins wearing the One Ring on a chain around his neck and tucked beneath his shirt partway through The Fellowship of the Ring, as carrying it around in his pocket isn't secure enough and he can't put it on for extended periods without alerting Sauron to its presence.
  • Oblivion: When Julia reveals to Jack that she's his wife, she reveals she wears her wedding ring on a necklace tucked under her shirt. She likely does this to hide her identity from the Tet that exterminates all evidence to the clones' original selves.
  • Ophelia: When Ophelia and Hamlet marry in secret, he gives her one of his rings as a wedding ring and she wears it on a ribbon tucked beneath her bodice; the ribbon itself holds significance to her as Hamlet took it from her hair as a love token. Unfortunately, Claudius isn't too concerned about her personal space; when he sees the ribbon he pulls the ring out and immediately deduces Hamlet gave it to her, leading him to assume they're plotting against him together and thus putting Ophelia in grave danger.
  • Played with in The Sidehackers when Rommel's girlfriend Rita attaches a padlock to a necklace he's wearing. He treats it as an engagement ring.
  • In the Star Wars sequel trilogy, Poe Dameron wears a ring on a necklace, though it's not clearly shown. The Visual Dictionary states that the ring is his late mother's wedding band and that he's "waiting to share it with the right partner someday".
  • The Viral Factor sees the hero, Jon, losing his fiancée in the Action Prologue thanks to a betrayal from one of his squad-mates. In subsequent scenes Jon can be seen wearing his engagement ring on a cord around his neck, notably when he converses with his mother and she tells him how hard it is to lose someone he loves while looking on the dangling ring.
  • William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: Following his secret forbidden marriage to Juliet and his banishment for killing Tybalt, Romeo wears his wedding ring on a chain. When he visits the supposedly dead Juliet in her tomb, Romeo pulls the necklace off to place the ring on her finger, with the chain still attached.

  • Dark Skies: One of the very few things that Lydia has with her when she gets teleported to Mudamora is a ring with a huge diamond that her foster father has given her. After she sells it to Helene Torrington and then Killian buys it back for her she starts wearing it as a pendant on her neck because she cannot bear to part with it but she also cannot show it to anyone. And then it becomes a Chekhov's Gun when Hacken Calorian rips it off her neck and shows it to Princess Malahi as the proof that Killian is in love with Lydia and not Malahi.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, Frodo wears the One Ring on a chain around his neck. This is fully justified, as putting on the Ring causes the wearer to become more vulnerable to both the Ring's powers and to detection by Sauron. It also decreases the chance of the Ring escaping by slipping out of a pocket, as it did with Gollum. It further symbolises how Frodo is literally and figuratively "chained" to the Ring and the burden it is to him.
  • In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Annabeth wears her father's gold college ring on her Camp Half-Blood bead necklace. Even though their relationship is strained, they still care about each other and want to try and make it work.
  • In Two Little Girls in Blue, Norman keeps his ex-wife's wedding ring - which she put on their dresser when she left him - on a chain and wears it constantly around his neck. It's also revealed he keeps the ring Theresa's second husband gave her on the chain too, which he took from her when he murdered her. When both rings are found on his body, it proves he was responsible for his ex-wife's disappearance, providing her second husband with some closure.
  • The Wheel of Time: When Lan and Nynaeve first fall in love, he gives her his signet ring — part of the regalia of his lost throne — as a token of his regard. She wears it on a necklace both to be discreet and because it's far too large for her fingers.

    Live-Action Series 
  • In the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad, Walt's cancer has ravaged his body so much his fingers become too emaciated for him to wear his wedding ring. As a result, he puts it on a piece of string so he can wear it around his neck.
  • In Castle, Beckett wears her mother's ring on a necklace, as a reminder to herself to solve her murder.
  • In Everything's Gonna Be Okay, Nicholas gives his half-sister Genevieve a ring that belonged to her late mother as a birthday gift but proposes that she wear it on a necklace instead of on her finger because he doesn't think that wearing rings on her fingers fits her aesthetic.
  • In Forever, widow Jo Martinez constantly wears her wedding ring on a necklace and occasionally touches it, especially when she's thinking about her late husband. During their first meeting, Henry notices and remarks upon it, saying he's sorry for her loss. When she asks how he could know she's a widow, he explains that the tan line on her ring finger indicates she wore a wedding band up until recently "but most divorcees don't wear their wedding band around their necks".
  • Game of Thrones: After getting lost in the Dothraki Sea and being captured by a khalasar, Daenerys drops her late mother's ring on the ground so that she can be tracked. Jorah and Daario find the ring and return it to her, after which she wears it around her neck on a cord for most of Season 6. In this situation, Daenerys doesn't have anything else to wear but Dothraki clothing (her other clothing was either damaged or taken from her), but she makes sure part of her Targaryen heritage is close to her at all times.
  • In the Glee episode "Heart", when Rachel reveals to Kurt and Mercedes that she and Finn are engaged, she shows them her engagement ring she wears as a necklace because she hasn't publically announced her engagement yet.
  • Kamen Rider Ryuki: Kido happens to rip off a necklace from Ren's neck during one of their early scuffles, only to find two rings hanging from it. It foreshadows Ren's motivation for fighting in Rider war - to use the wish granted to the winner to save his fiancée, Eri.
  • La Brea: Eve, who is currently separated from her husband, wears her wedding ring around her neck as a reminder.
  • Lost: Bernard's fingers swell in altitude so he and his wife Rose came up with a system where she puts his wedding ring on her necklace whenever they fly. After the plane crash that kicks off the series Rose remains hopeful that Bernard also survived and she'll be able to give his ring back. Her faith is rewarded in the second season when Bernard makes it to the main camp and they're finally reunited.
  • Merlin: After Gwen is banished from Camelot by Arthur for betraying him (albeit unwillingly, as she'd been under an enchantment), Gwen wears the engagement ring he gave to her around her neck as a reminder of their love. She loses it when Morgana rips the necklace off, although this results in Arthur finding the ring and being reminded that he still loves Gwen, prompting him to forgive her.
  • Scrubs: After she and Turk get married, Carla can usually be seen wearing her wedding and engagement rings on a necklace when she's at work. Her duties as a nurse mean she uses her hands a lot and either doesn't want to damage the rings or risk losing them while treating a patient.
  • Sex and the City: Actually Played for Drama when Carrie and Aidan get engaged. Carrie wears the engagement ring on a necklace instead of on her ring finger, which Aidan thinks (correctly, as it turns out) is a sign she's not really committed.
  • Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga: Chief Mitsukuni Shizuma carries the ring belonging to his late wife, Yurika Shizuma, on a necklace, which he then presents to his daughter Yuna on her 18th birthday by putting it around her neck. Said ring is actually an artifact from another dimension which can deflect attacks from monsters.
  • The Wire: In season 4, Old Face Andre's ring changes hands a couple times, ultimately ending with Michael, who being a kid with smaller hands, ends up wearing it on a chain.

  • The most common version of the Theme Song for Happy Days references this trope, with the singer (singing from the perspective of a high school student) stating that his girlfriend is "wearin' my school ring on her chain" as a sign they're going steady.
  • Elvis Presley: "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck" is Exactly What It Says on the Tin; the singer is asking his lady love to wear his ring around her neck as a sign that she's taken.
  • Sugarland's "Want To" mentions it as the narrator debates the merits of a Relationship Upgrade with a friend.
    I got your ring around my neck
    And a couple of nights I don't regret

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In Adventures in Blackmoor Thorsen One-Thumb, First Jarl of the Skandaharians, wears a magical Ring of Water Walking on a silver necklace around his neck. The ring was a gift from his mother when he was a child. He sometimes holds it when he's nervous.
    • In the 3rd Edition, the wearer of a Hand of Glory necklace can benefit from a third magic ring (over the usual limit of two at a time) by putting the ring on one of the Hand's fingers.

  • The Phantom of the Opera: Christine agrees to marry Raoul but she insists on keeping their engagement a secret, especially as she's concerned about how the Phantom will react. As a result, she wears her engagement ring on a necklace so it's less conspicuous. It doesn't work: when the Phantom dramatically reappears at a masquerade ball, he lets Christine know that he's aware of her engagement and of his opinion on the matter by ripping the necklace off.

    Video Games 
  • The Ring of the Awakened, a DLC accessory in Dragon Age II is worn in the neck slot rather than one of the two ring slots as its name would imply. This has annoyed many players because Anders' neck accessory is better reserved for something that improves his healing abilities, which are almost never found as rings. So the Ring of the Awakened would be a very useful accessory if not for this trope.
  • Far Cry 3 has a more creepy variation than is typical. Buck wears a chrome ring around his neck like a necklace. In the '90s, gay men used to wear chrome cock rings around their necks as a statement of their sexuality and as a fashion accessory. What makes it creepy is that it's an extremely subtle and disturbing indicator of why he bought Keith as a slave in the first place and what horrors Keith is enduring during Jason's missions.
  • In Final Fantasy VIII, Rinoa Heartilly keeps the wedding ring of her deceased mother around a chain. Later, she also gains one of Squall Leonhart's own rings,note  signifying they were becoming that much closer.
  • House of Ashes: When Rachel asks her estranged husband Eric when he stopped wearing his wedding ring, he says he never stopped and reveals he wears it around his neck "close to [his] heart". Rachel, in contrast, says she stopped wearing her ring "the day [she] left", symbolizing the disparity in their feelings around the estrangement.
  • H'aanit in Octopath Traveler mentions in a party banter that she wears her deceased parents' wedding rings on a necklace.
  • In Paradise Killer, Lady Love Dies wears a ring - presumably the one Isiah gave to her when they got engaged - on a thin chain over her robes. They've been broken up for a very long time, but she has difficulty moving on. Antagonists know better than to tease her over it, though.
  • Professor Burnet of Pokémon wears her wedding ring this way. She's Happily Married to Professor Kukui and presumably does a lot of hands-on work as a scientist.
  • Nathan Drake of Uncharted wears the ring of Sir Francis Drake on a length of string around his neck throughout each game, with the exception of 4, having lost it at the end of the third game. Being a descendant of the man himself, Nate inherited the ring, but it goes on to play a vital role in 3 as part of a decoder.

    Web Comics 
  • Avialae: Gannet wears his engagement ring on a necklace because it doesn't fit on his finger.
  • Gab Shiba: Ruff keeps losing his engagement ring, so Voff forces him to put the ring on a necklace.
  • Girl Genius: After Master Payne's Circus helps to fake Agatha's death, Gil starts wearing her connector-turned-impromptu-engagement ring (which they had planted on "Agatha's" corpse) on a chain around his neck - something Zeetha later recognizes as proof that he really does care about her.
  • Like Wind On A Dry Branch: Rieta Tristi magically blesses a ring once worn by her late daughter and gifts it to her benefactor Lord Killian, Archduke of Axias, as thanks for everything he has done for her. Since the ring was made for a child and is therefore too small for his fingers, the Archduke instead wears it on a thin chain around his neck, which works just as well for warding off demons and plague.
  • Widdershins: Alexa unravels Ethan's Sour Outside, Sad Inside persona when she notices that he wears his wedding ring on a necklace and (correctly) infers that he had a fight with his spouse.

    Western Animation 
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Big Mac and Sugar Belle wear their engagement rings as necklaces because one of them's an earth pony while the other's a unicorn, the latter who normally can wear a ring on her horn.

    Real Life 
  • Some pregnant women wear their engagement and/or wedding rings on a necklace because the pregnancy causes their fingers to swell, which makes getting the rings on and off (or even just wearing them at all) uncomfortable.
  • In the 1990s, a fashion trend amongst gay men involved in the rave scene was to wear chrome cock rings on necklaces, both as a fashion statement and as an indicator of their sexuality.
  • Some jobs don't allow jewelry in general due to safety hazards, so it's quite likely for someone in those fields to wear their ring on a necklace while on-duty so they can put it back on after work.