In most Western traditions, the ring finger is the fourth finger on the left hand, next to the pinky finger. The tradition stems from ancient Greek and Roman times when it was believed that the fourth finger had a vein that led directly to the heart. A ring on this finger symbolized deep love. With modern knowledge of human anatomy, it’s now known that all fingers have veins that connect to the heart. Still, the tradition remains of wearing an engagement ring on the fourth finger of the left hand.
In Western tradition, wedding bands, such as these from Blue Nile, are generally also worn on the left-hand ring finger, the fourth finger next to the pinky. This again relates to the ancient belief that the finger had a direct vein to the heart.
If you’re wearing a wedding band and an engagement ring, they’re traditionally placed on the same finger. The wedding ring usually is worn closest to the heart (and palm of the hand), and the engagement ring closer to the knuckle. If you choose a matching wedding band, they can often look like one ring when placed next to each other. Look at this example of a twist curved diamond rings from Blue Nile.
Wedding bands are usually exchanged at wedding ceremonies in Western cultures. Before the ceremony, the engagement ring is often switched to the right hand, so the wedding band can go on the left-hand ring finger during the ceremony. Once the wedding ring is on the ring finger, the engagement ring is placed on top of it, so it sits closest to the knuckle. Some place their engagement ring next to the wedding ring during the ceremony, while others do it after the ceremony.
It’s important to remember that it’s OK not to follow Western tradition for how to wear your rings. While this tradition carries meaning to some couples, others choose their own path or follow a different cultural tradition. Many countries and cultures have different traditions for how to wear engagement and wedding rings. For example, in Russia and India, it’s common to wear both engagement and wedding bands on the right hand. The same goes for Spain, Portugal, and Hungary.
When it comes to deciding how to wear your rings, it’s important to do what’s meaningful for you and what is most comfortable. More and more couples are choosing their own path because it feels more genuine to them. They might wear their rings on the right hand, or on different fingers than the traditional ring finger. Some couples decide to solder their wedding ring and engagement rings together permanently. Others choose a bridal set, while others choose to forgo a wedding band and just wear their engagement ring. Ultimately, the style of your rings and which finger you wear them on is entirely up to you.
Yes, you can wear your engagement and wedding ring on your right hand
You can certainly wear your engagement ring on your right-hand ring finger. In fact, that’s the traditional way in several countries and cultures. In Norway, Russia, Poland, Denmark, Peru, Venezuela, and Columbia, it’s customary to wear your engagement ring on the right hand. In countries like Turkey and Brazil, it’s custom to wear your engagement ring on the right hand until the wedding, when it’s then switched to the left. And in Germany, the opposite happens: the engagement ring is worn on the left hand until the wedding ceremony when it’s then switched to the right.
Wearing your engagement ring on the right hand is a choice that many people make. Some people even wear their ring on the right hand because they are left-handed and want to avoid wear and tear on their ring.
You can also wear your wedding ring on the right hand. In countries across the world, from Poland and Bulgaria to Greece and Spain, couples wear their wedding bands on the right-hand ring finger. No matter how you style your rings and on which hand you wear them, it’s important that your ring size fits you. Your ring size should be comfortable. The ring shouldn’t be too loose that you risk it sliding off, or too tight where it feels uncomfortable to wear every day.
Wedding Ring – For your right hand or left hand?
In Western culture, it’s traditional to wear your wedding ring on the left hand, though some wear it on their right. While the left-hand finger stems from an ancient belief, the right hand has its own significance, especially in modern times. For example, as many women now earn as much or more than men, women have enough income to buy their own diamond rings. They often wear them on their right hands to show their financial prosperity and success. As another example, gay and lesbian couples often opt to wear their rings on their right hands, instead of their left. More people are also embracing different cultural traditions, reflecting their heritage. And if you’re left-handed, you might prefer to wear your ring on your right hand so your ring is less subject to wear and tear.
Both men and women choose to wear their rings on their right hands, just as both men and women also wear rings on the left hand. The choice is personal and can reflect your own culture, style, symbolism, or comfort.
How Wedding and Engagement Rings Go Together
Most people wear their engagement ring and wedding ring on the same finger, especially in Western culture. Before the wedding ceremony, it’s tradition to wear your engagement ring on your left-hand ring finger. At the ceremony, it’s common to put the wedding ring on the left-hand ring finger closest to the palm and slide the engagement ring on top so it’s closest to the knuckle. If there’s no engagement ring, the wedding band often sits by itself on the left-hand ring finger.
In other cultures, it’s traditional for rings to be worn together as well, but on the right hand. As an example, in many European countries including Spain and Greece, the custom is to wear your engagement ring and wedding ring on the right hand. In Brazil and Turkey, engagement rings stay on the right hand until the wedding, when they’re switched to the left hand.
Others, no matter their culture, choose to wear their rings on separate fingers or only wear one ring. For instance, you can wear your engagement ring and wedding ring on different fingers, and even on different hands if you want. As an example, you might wear your wedding ring on your left hand, and place your engagement ring on your right.
Can rings be worn on different fingers?
Yes, your engagement ring and wedding ring can be worn on different fingers. For instance, some couples place their wedding ring on their left-hand ring finger and their engagement ring on their right-hand ring finger. You can also wear your rings on different fingers of the same hand.
You may choose to wear your rings on different fingers for comfort or style or because it reduces wear and tear. Ultimately, how you wear your rings is up to you. Just like a unique engagement ring, how you wear your rings is a way to showcase your personal style.
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Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.
In many Western countries, the tradition of wearing an engagement ring on the fourth finger on the left hand, (the left ring finger on the ring finger guide below), can be traced back to the Ancient Romans. They believed this finger had a vein that ran directly to the heart, the Vena Amoris, meaning 'vein of love'.What does it mean when you wear your engagement ring on the right hand? ›
In many eastern cultures and some select countries throughout Europe like Denmark, Italy, Norway, and Spain, the engagement ring and wedding band are worn on the right hand ring finger. This practice also reaches back to ancient Rome where it was believed the left hand wasn't reliable.Do some cultures wear engagement ring on right hand? ›
Engagement ring on the right hand: Southern European countries, Russia, Switzerland, … In Switzerland, Russia, and many southern European countries, engagement rings are usually worn on the ring finger´s right hand.Do other cultures wear wedding rings on different fingers? ›
"Today, wedding rings are most commonly worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. But some countries including India, Germany, Spain, Norway, and Russia traditionally wear their wedding rings on their right hand." Overall, it seems cultural traditions and norms set the standard for this custom.What is East West engagement ring? ›
What Is an East-West Set Engagement Ring? An east-west engagement ring is a type of setting where the stone is oriented horizontally on the band. Classic stone shapes like ovals and pears as well as emerald, marquise, and cushion cuts are being given the horizontal treatment for a decidedly fresh aesthetic.What religion wears engagement ring on right hand? ›
For Roman Catholics, the tradition calls for wearing the engagement ring on the right hand, then they wear the wedding ring on the left hand. Protestants have similar traditions. It's the Greek Orthodox brides, however, who typically switch it from one hand to the other.Why do Europeans wear wedding ring on right hand? ›
Rings worn on the right hand
Couples in Belgium, Russia, Poland and a few other eastern European countries prefer to wear their engagement and wedding rings on their right hands. Their tradition began years ago when the Romans ruled the world and believed that the left hand represented all that was untrustworthy.
In the Western World and much of Europe, it's tradition to wear one's wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand, aka, the ring finger. Before the ceremony, the engagement ring is exchanged onto the right hand.Do left handed people wear engagement ring on right hand? ›
The engagement ring is usually a diamond ring and is precious. If a left-handed individual who does all their work with her left hand also wears a diamond engagement ring in their left hand, then the ring may be damaged at any moment. So if you are left-handed, you should wear your engagement ring in your right hand.Do Americans wear wedding ring on right hand? ›
Throughout the U.S. and many other parts of the world, most women wear their wedding bands on the same finger — the left-hand ring finger.
- Japan. Whilst engagement rings and Western-style Christian ceremonies are popular among modern brides in Japan, more traditional brides go with a Shinto wedding – instead of engagement rings, this includes the couple exchanging three sips of sake. ...
- Africa. ...
- Other traditions.
In Germany the traditional engagement ring is usually a gold band worn on the left hand. After the wedding the same ring is worn on the right hand. Men also wear their wedding ring on the right hand.What finger do Italians wear their wedding ring? ›
In Italy today 'fede' is what a wedding band is called. On top of that, rings were now worn on the third finger of the left hand. In this, ancient Roman culture followed the Egyptian belief that from that finger ran the "nerve of love" directly to the heart.What is the golden rule for engagement ring? ›
The salary rule has been one of the oldest ways (dating back to World War II) to budget for the best ring you can afford. The golden rule is to save up at least three months' salary for an engagement ring.What does the average American pay for an engagement ring? ›
If you're deciding how much to spend on an engagement ring, there are several factors to consider. While $6,000 is the national average cost of a ring, the spend per couple varies. Our study found that roughly one-third of all respondents are spending between $1,000 to $4,000 on their engagement ring.What engagement ring shape is the most expensive? ›
The most expensive diamond cut is the round brilliant because it wastes the highest amount of rough stone – around 60% on average – during the cutting process. This large quantity of discarded material means that consumers will pay for a larger stone than they end up with to help cover costs.Can you wear your wedding ring on your right hand after divorce? ›
After divorce, however, the decision typically comes down to personal preference, she says. If the marriage ended relatively amicably, some people do choose to wear their wedding ring or engagement ring on the right hand, as a reminder of their continued friendship with their ex.What is a divorce ring? ›
A divorce ring is a ring that you buy yourself after you have ended your marriage. It can replace your old wedding ring. Alternatively, you can wear it on another finger that's not your ring finger. Divorce rings can be any shape or size.