Guide to wearing your engagement and wedding rings
Diamond engagement rings have been exchanged as part of wedding traditions for hundreds of years. They’ve become universally recognized as symbols of promise, devotion and everlasting love – A Diamond Is Forever. But on which hand and finger should your engagement and wedding rings be worn, and how are they worn around the world?
“Will you marry me?” -
Your engagement ring finger
With all the flutter and excitement of an engagement, you may ask: what is the correct hand and finger to wear my engagement ring on?
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’. With the heart at the center of your emotions, this was thought to be the best finger to wear your engagement ring on. . It showed to all the symbol of your Forever love and that your heart had been claimed by another.
Wearing your engagement ring on the left hand is not a global tradition. In Russia, Germany, Norway and India, engagement rings are worn on the right hand. This is derived from ‘left,’ in latin, meaning ‘sinister.’ Therefore the left hand was considered unlucky by some.
In Sweden and Chile, it is not just brides-to-be that receive engagement rings, men wear them too. In Chile, these are worn on the right hand until marriage, when they are exchanged onto the left.
It is not just engagement rings that are exchanged as a mark of an upcoming wedding ceremony. Traditionally in China, money and other goods are exchanged instead of engagement rings.
In Northern Kenya, the Samburu warriors wear ornate beadings around their neck, with certain colors used to indicate engagement.
“I do” -
Your wedding ring finger
The engagement ring symbolizes a promise of marriage and your wedding band solidifies this promise. With no beginning or end, the circle of a wedding ring is considered a symbol of eternity and dedication to a lifetime partnership.
In Western cultures, traditionally wedding rings are exchanged during a couple's wedding ceremony, on the engagement ring finger. With this, you may wonder what happens to your engagement ring? Just before the wedding ceremony, the engagement ring is exchanged onto the right hand so the wedding ring can be placed onto the left hand, to be worn closest to the heart. After the ceremony, the engagement ring is then placed on top of the new wedding band.
Although this is the traditional way of pairing rings, couples are now choosing different ways to style them. From wearing the wedding ring on top of the engagement ring, to joining the two rings together so they become one. Regardless of how you chose to wear them, you should always ensure that both your rings are comfortable and sized properly.
Around the world, it is not just wedding bands that are exchanged at ceremonies. In customary Indian weddings during the Var Mala Ceremony, the bride and groom place beautiful flower garlands around each other’s necks. This is to show the bride has accepted the groom as her husband. And it is not just fingers that wedding rings are worn on. In traditional Hindu cultures women wear toe rings, known as bichiya.
Ring finger guide
A love to last a lifetime
Whether you wear your diamond engagement ring and wedding band on your right hand or left, your index finger or thumb, your ring finger is not what matters. More than just beautiful pieces of jewelry, your engagement and wedding rings symbolize a promise of your commitment to one another, your future experiences and your union together. They are an unwavering symbol of your love, now and Forever.