Which hand should you wear an engagement ring on? Left or right?

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A beautiful diamond engagement ring worn on your finger really completes your outfit, don’t you think? Some engagement rings have sentimental value, such as when the ring belonged to your (grand)mother or other family member. But the question is: should that engagement ring be worn on the left or right hand, and why?

Which finger should you wear your engagement ring on?

It’s up to you: whether it’s your ring finger, little finger or thumb; there are no rules. On the whole, most people wear their engagement ring on their right hand. But, once you’re married, the hand you wear the engagement ring on changes. Usually, it joins the wedding ring around the ring finger on the left hand.

Nationality

In many countries the tradition is to wear the engagement ring on the left hand. This is true in France, The Netherlands, the United States, Great Britain, Australia and many other English-speaking countries. Couples in Belgium, Russia, Poland and some other Eastern European countries however, prefer to wear their engagement and wedding rings on their right hand.

There are also some countries where the rings are worn on both hands, such as Brazil, Germany and Spain. They mix it up. Brazilians start with wearing the ring on their right hand and then move it to the left. Germans and Spaniards do it the opposite way round. In China, the right hand is associated with giving and the left hand with receiving. If a Chinese partner wears their wedding ring on their left hand, it means they expect to receive more than they give in the marriage.

Religion

Most Christian communities adopt the custom of wearing an engagement ring on the left hand. This denotes the direct path to their beloved’s heart. After the wedding, the engagement ring is worn on the right hand. The wedding ring then sits on the left hand. However, many married women choose to wear their wedding and engagement rings together, on the left hand. In Judaism, rings are often not exchanged, but should a Jewish couple decide to give a ring they wear it on their right hand. Nor is it the custom to give a ring in Hinduism, although this is sharply on the rise. On the whole, most couples opt for the red dot instead of a ring.

Personal preference

It remains your choice as to if and when you wear your ring; ultimately it is best to wear it on the hand that is most comfortable for you. 

Do you know why the Romans always wore their wedding rings on their left hand? Because that hand – and the Vena Amoris or vein in the ring finger – is closest to the heart. Actually, that symbolic meaning still applies. It’s still the direct connection to the heart, where love reigns.

In some cultures, it is customary to move the wedding ring to the other hand when someone loses their partner. Or, both wedding rings can also be worn together, in which case the deceased partner’s ring is worn on top of the widow(er)’s ring. Another option is for both rings to be reworked by a jeweller into a widow(er) ring.

What is the significance of each finger? 

Did you know that in Roman mythology, every finger except the thumb represented a Roman God? Want to know which God your ring finger or little finger signifies? Find out below.

What does a ring on the thumb signify?

Unfortunately, the thumb doesn’t represent a Roman God.  The Greeks though associated the thumb with masculinity and power. That’s because the thumb could make life or death decisions. Think back to ancient times when emperors could decide on a gladiator’s life with their thumb.

Did you know that today the thumb symbolises personal and universal will? Because this finger sits just a little further apart than the other fingers. Everyone also knows that the thumb has a positive connotation. If you put your thumb up it means you are doing OK.

Do you have a thumb ring? If so, it means you stand out from society and are self-assured. Is that true?

What does a ring on the index finger signify?

This finger symbolises self-confidence, leadership and ambition. Do you know why?

Because the index finger represents the Roman God Jupiter, the supreme God.

A ring worn on the right index finger is supposed to symbolise a desire for power and to rule, but could also refer to discretion. You could also have the desire to not seem as you truly are.

What does a ring on the middle finger signify?

The middle finger is associated with Saturn, who embodies responsibility, humanity and universal law. Because this finger is in the middle, it also symbolises the parity between good and evil.

Fate and magic are also associated with wearing a ring on your middle finger, but can represent a structured life too.

Some find this the perfect finger to display their ring on.

What does a ring on the ring finger signify?

You’ve guessed it, the ring finger denotes the God of love, Apollo.

Apollo also represents beauty, elegance and compassion. Most people wear their wedding or engagement ring on their ring finger as this seemingly is the most valuable finger.

What does a ring on our little finger signify?

Our pinky refers to Mercury. He is the God of communication and perseverance. Actually, a pinky ring shows you are articulate and persuasive.

Did you know that if you wear a pinky ring you have extraordinary talents, are bright and resourceful? Aeons ago, men wore a signet ring on their little finger. They used their signet ring to sign important documents. That’s also why pinky rings have a vintage look&feel.


Now that you know which finger you can wear your engagement ring on, you probably want to find out more about what types of engagement rings there are. Find out here!

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