Catbird First-Knuckle Rings


We’ve made our feelings about jewelry and self-adornment known, we think? If we haven’t, well, Hi! Nice to meet you, we’re into it.

Personally, I am kind of a recovering jewelry addict. I wore a hand-chain every day (really, every day) for a year and change, and I've since been actively steered away from Bond 07/Love Adorned /the Chelsea Flea Market by well-meaning friends who know how hard it is for me to "just walk in" without draping myself in everything. But lately, I find myself drawn towards the subtler side of the "bling" ring. (Is this what maturity feels like?!) Whether in your ears, nose, or around your wrists and toes, there’s something so clean, modern, and elegant (maybe "toes" was a stretch) about simple gold hoops and not much else. (Note: I still think this chick is Rad City, Population: 1.) Emily turned me onto the idea of delicate first-knuckle rings, I think—or maybe not, but she rocks them pretty regularly (you may have spotted them in the Sally Hansen videos and on my fingers unearthing a jar of Fresh's Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream from a pile of fronds).

Catbird, a Brooklyn boutique with a smattering of local designers and excellent taste, is essentially reading our mind with their exhaustive selection of “memory” (so-called because they mimic the strings people tie around their fingers so as not to forget something) and first-knuckle rings in a range of metals (rose gold, silver, yellow gold) and designs (classic hammered, rope-like twists, tiny diamond chips, hearts, moons, initials, and the new, thicker banded 'Tomboy' style). All for prices—the 'Mignon' averages around $28 in silver; $48 in gold—that won’t make you want to jump off the Williamsburg Bridge if you lose them in your purse or pocket! (Pro tips: 1. Buy them in a size that fits closer to your second knuckle, for a more secure wearing experience and 2. Don't be too precious about your belongings; it's just stuff.) You can stack or mix them, wear one on each finger, or ten on one—it’s your show.

—Alessandra Codinha

Get Catbird first-knuckle rings here, and the brand-new Tomboy here (yellow gold) and here (silver). 

Photos by Elizabeth Brockway.

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  • Nomadic D.

    I have wanted these for YEARS! I actually went in a few years ago and tried them on, but I was told that because of my tapered fingers (and lack of boney knuckle) they wouldn't work on me, there would be nothing to hold them in place and they would just slide right off. So I walked away empty-handed and heart-broken. But now I feel like I'm seeing them on all sorts of tapered-fingered ladies (yourself included!) and I'm thinking next time I'm in nyc I'm going to have to try again. I think coveting one item like this for so many years officially counts as obsession. So for all my dedication I deserve one (or a bunch), right?

    • ITGAlessandra

      My rule is that if you leave the store and are still thinking about what you left behind later on in the day/week, it's "real." So fill up those fingers! (And buy backup in case one/a few slip!) xx

      • Nomadic D.

        Ha! So I guess if I've been thinking about it for a year and a half I should buy a whole handful? Thanks for enabling :)

  • Bonnie Clyde

    I had some gold knuckle rings made this summer and i wear them all the time!! I love these rings by Catbird too!!

  • CFH

    I like Catbird a lot, but got my gold-thread knuckle rings off of etsy. Way less expensive.

  • Annie Strole

    I love Catbird! I live very near by.

    I love what you write about not getting too attached to a knuckle ring if it gets lost, as (speaking from experience) they are lost quite easily. Just saying "eh" if they slip through the cracks and hoping they are picked up by some deserving new knuckles :)

  • The Horticult

    Just what I need to jazz up my old-lady hands! My husband actually gave me a set of knuckle rings for Christmas (!) that I immediately lost while stuffing clothes into my pajama drawer. I eventually found them, but it couldn't hurt to have a backup set. (And to be less rough with my laundry.) They look great mixed in with a couple chunkier cocktail rings.

  • Ella

    i love these; delicate rings are the best!
    xx ella

  • Amber

    I'm in love with knuckle rings and have been trying to source some for months. I did have mild success on ebay but they all tarnished within a week. Thanks for sharing, will definitely be buying some!

  • bisbee

    I bought two of these...and promptly lost one. Love the look, and I may get another, but I hate to lose things!

  • Twentysomething Creative Type

    Usually love catbird, but I'm not feeling the knuckle rings...

    Anyone else feel like it's flashback to trying-plastic-rings-that-don't-fit-on-the-playground time?

  • Lucy Apted

    These knuckle rings are incredible! Fashionology have a great collection too!!