Preparing for your proposal is an exciting time and you have picked out a beautiful ring to make it all happen. You are ready to pop that all-important question and have rehearsed that moment over and over. But just when you thought you had it all down to a T, you have this nagging doubt regarding the ring finger and on which hand it is located! After all, the engagement ring that symbolizes your love and your commitment to a life together needs to be placed on the right person at the right spot.
We are so excited for you! And it's our pleasure to gather all the perfect engagement rings and the information you need to make this special moment simply stellar.
• The engagement ring finger
• Which hand does the engagement ring go on?
• Fun engagement ring wearing customs
• Your engagement, your ring, your traditions
Engagement ring finger: Left or right hand?
Welcome to the global village where you know exactly what goes on all over the world but don't know how the details apply to your own life! The engagement ring is one such detail. Let's throw some light on the history behind the idea of the engagement ring and how engagement and wedding ring customs have blended across the globe, over the years.
Whose idea was it anyway?
Historians claim that metal and gold engagement rings date back to the Romans who got the basic gist of it from the Greek and Egyptian civilizations of yore.
From Egypt to the rest of the world
In ancient Egypt, circles were believed to be a symbol of eternity. Couples would exchange “rings” made out of braided reeds to mark their commitment to each other. It's interesting to note that some sources claim that The Egyptians wore these reed rings on the fourth finger of the left hand.
The heart vein – ""vena amoris"". The fourth finger is credited with this magical vein or perhaps a nerve! When the engagement or wedding ring is placed on this finger, bells will ring, the birds will sing and the skies will open… Or so it is hoped!
The term vena amoris first appeared in the writings of a British ecclesiastical lawyer, Henry Swinburne in the 17th century. Meaning the ""vein of love"", it was believed to connect from the left-hand fourth finger directly to the heart. Moreover, it's interesting to note that cultures that wear the ring on the fourth finger always refer to the vena amoris connection! However, there were no specific wedding or pre-wedding ring customs during those times in England or elsewhere, nor is there any scientific knowledge to back up this “love vein” theory.
The engagement ring hand
Is there a specific hand to wear the engagement ring on?
Every romantic movie captures the man on one knee offering his heart in the form of a diamond solitaire ring. His delighted lover always proffers her left hand and the finger the ring is slipped on is, inevitably, the fourth one.
That's pretty simple and sweet! But did you know that not all cultures wear their engagement and wedding rings on the left hand?
The most popular engagement ring-wearing custom worldwide
Undoubtedly, in our times, the two most influential nations that support the left-hand, ring finger tradition are the UK and the US. Most of the commonwealth English-speaking nations also follow this custom and it is evidenced in pop culture all over the world. In these countries, it's customary to wear the engagement ring and the wedding rings together on the left-hand ring finger. This same tradition also continues in Egypt and Italy till today – the two countries where the left hand and fourth finger custom origins are traced from.
Ring finger customs in Europe
Interestingly, you can differ in customs even if your neighbour swears by the left hand. German and Austrian women receive the engagement ring on their left ring finger and their wedding rings are worn on the right hand.
But neighbouring Switzerland begs to differ from this custom. Swiss brides wear their engagement rings on their right hand! We see this custom also followed in Poland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Bulgaria, Russia and most of the southern European nations like Spain, Serbia, Lithuania, Greece and Turkey.
Engagement and wedding ring finger practices by religious custom
Religious ceremonies have specific customs related to engagement and wedding rings. The accepted Christian practice is to wear the engagement and wedding ring on the left-hand ring finger. Jewish tradition supports the thumb or index finger for wedding rings, although modern Jewish couples often place the wedding ring on the right hand’s ring finger during the marriage ceremony and then wear it on the left hand’s ring finger post-ceremony. In traditional Hindu customs, engagement rings are exchanged between the couple, and they are worn on the left hand of the woman and the right hand of the man. Moslem tradition in general does not practice the exchange of rings however, it also depends on the nation or specific community.
You'll surely agree with us that the quest for the elusive ring finger is quite intriguing, to say the least.
As you like it
Many women already have their perfect engagement scenario in mind. What they hope for would most likely be a blend of extravagant romantic gestures that are often viral on social media and also memories of customs from their own culture. It's safe to say that the best way to put the ring on would be an ideal mix of romance and traditional customs you both cherish.
How she wears the ring after the wedding is a matter of choice, convenience or sentimental value. It has become not just acceptable, but fashionable, to borrow exotic wedding and engagement customs from other countries, cultures and lifestyles. And why not? You don’t need to follow any particular rule. Simply do what feels right for you. But once again we find that the left-hand ring finger always takes the vote as the engagement ring bearer.
Engagement and wedding ring order on the ring finger
If you've decided to wear your engagement and wedding rings on the same finger, you may be wondering about stacking. If you like the idea of wearing your wedding band closest to your heart, then wear your wedding ring at the bottom of the stack, below the engagement ring. As mentioned earlier in most cultures the engagement ring is shifted to the right-hand ring finger for the same reason.
Some brides opt to have their wedding and engagement rings joined together into one unified piece. You can also plan for this by buying engagement and wedding ring sets or lovely fusion rings that are designed to fit beautifully together. We love how these unique combination ring styles effortlessly introduce the ""marital bond"" metaphor in super elegant fashion.
We are confident that every bride-to-be is delighted by the most romantic take on the engagement ring finger that connects ""the heart vein"" with the rings she cherishes. If you are planning to surprise her, we can assure you that your bride-to-be will appreciate the effort you make to show her that she means the world to you by proposing with the perfect ring, in the most romantic gesture that only the two of you can share. We hope you make a memorable proposal and find the best ring to seal your promise with. If you have any specific questions, we are always available to guide you.