Diamond rings have become a universally accepted symbol of love and commitment. But which finger to wear an engagement ring? Does wearing an engagement ring in a specific finger influence one’s relationship?
When you learn that your bae wants to take your relationship to the next level, how high did you jump? Getting hitched is definitely the most awaited moment in one’s life. The emotional investment it takes to build a relationship while experiencing all the ups and downs is priceless. Hence, be it an engagement or a wedding, it has to be special. From deciding the dates to the venue and guest lists to the engagement ring, everything has to be perfect. But what about the many intricacies of a wedding? For starters, which finger to wear an engagement ring?
Let us know what finger is the engagement ring worn on, and how are they worn around the world?
Which hand and finger to wear an engagement ring?
With all the excitement of an engagement, couples usually ask: What finger does an engagement ring go on? But to their disappointment, there isn’t one perfect answer. This is because people across the globe have varied traditions and beliefs. For instance, most people from Western society consider the left hand as the wedding ring hand. However, that isn’t the case everywhere. Many countries like Norway, India, and Russia consider the left hand as unlucky. Hence, they place their wedding rings on the right hand.
Further, in some countries like Chile, the traditions are entirely different. Firstly, it is mandatory for both the bride and groom to receive engagement rings. Secondly, the engagement ring hand for them is the right hand. Hence, they wear engagement rings on the right hand. However, once married, the couple shifts the rings to their left hands.
One interesting thing to note here is that couples wear their engagement rings on the ring finger, regardless of the hand they wear it on.
But, have you ever wondered why people wear their rings on the ring finger?
Why Engagement Ring on Ring Finger?
The tradition of wearing an engagement ring on the ring finger dates back to ancient Egyptian and Roman times. Back then, people believed that there existed a vein, which ran from the fourth finger of the left hand directly to the heart. They called it the ‘vena amoris’ or the vein of love. Since a relationship is all about emotions arising from the heart, wearing an engagement ring on the ring finger demonstrated love and commitment. (Source)
Despite this being a sentimental notion, no one today agrees to this much. This is also because we all know that there is no such vein called vena amoris. So, while the myth no more exists, the tradition still continues.
Ring Wearing Tradition in the UK
Wedding ring tradition in the UK comes from the ancient Romans. Let us tell you that Romans inherited this tradition from the Egyptians’ vena amoris notion. But the Egyptians did not wear engagement rings.
Therefore, the British wedding ring practice goes back to Egypt. However, their engagement ring culture also comes from ancient Rome. Here, it was customary to give a pre-marriage ring to the brides-to-be to seal the marriage commitment.
Countries with the same ring tradition as Britain
At present, many English-speaking countries including Ireland, USA, South Africa, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand follow the same engagement ring tradition as that of the UK. People here too wear their engagement rings on the fourth finger, i.e. ring finger of the left hand. Further, countries like Jordan, Turkey, Mexico, Croatia, Romania, Finland and Slovenia also follow the same practice.
Also, Egypt and Italy also follow the same tradition. Please note that the left hand, ring finger tradition was originally forged in these two countries.
Ring Traditions in Various Parts of the World
- Several countries follow the tradition of wearing an engagement ring on the fourth (ring) finger of the right hand. This includes women of Russia, India, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Russia, Norway, Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Venezuela and Austria.
- The right-hand tradition is an established custom in these countries, irrespective of the religion a couple belongs to. The couple put on the engagement ring first, followed by the wedding ring. There is no tradition associated with this. It is just because of the order the rings were gifted in.
- However, in Germany, a bride can wear her engagement ring in the ring fingers of both the right and left hand. As a general rule, Protestants follow the practice of wearing a ring in the left hand. However, Catholics prefer the right hand for the same.
- In Modern Jewish culture, couples during the marriage ceremony wear the wedding ring on the right hand’s ring finger. Later, they wear it on the left hand’s ring finger. According to the old tradition, however, some of the more conservative Jewish ceremonies use the index finger or the thumb to put on the wedding ring. This tradition still persists in many modern Jewish families.
- Even in Brazil, the ring is first placed on the right hand’s ring finger and is later shifted to the left hand during the wedding ceremony. However, there’s no religious reason associated with this practice.
- Many Islamic countries in South Asia and West Asia also wear engagement rings. Here, women usually wear them on the left hand’s ring finger and men on the right.
- Further, Traditional Muslim wedding ceremonies do not have the custom of exchanging rings. But if one does so, the ring is worn either on the right or left ring finger.
Which Finger is for Engagement ring in India?
Traditionally, there’s no such thing like rings in Indian culture. But with Western influence, exchanging engagement rings have become more common now. While men wear their engagement rings on the right hand’s ring finger, women put them on the left hand.
Men’s Engagement Rings
There’s no such tradition in history, which demands men to wear an engagement ring. However, this trend is on its rise today. According to a survey by the Huffington Post, there has been a 280% rise in Pinterest images of men’s engagement rings. In another survey, it was also found that 17% of men would like to wear a “man-gagement” ring.
Engagement Ring Fingers Today
Engagement ring traditions are no doubt exciting for most people. It feels amazing to know there’s a history behind which finger to wear the engagement ring. However, not everyone likes to follow the crowd, for their own reasons. And, that’s okay!
Couples are usually caught between different cultures these days. Hence, they have different ideas about how the ring ceremony should work. Also, there are some other couples who just want to take it the way that excites them the most. And that’s great. Whatever you chose to do, whichever finger you chose to put your ring on, the important thing is what it means to you and your partner.
Be it a promise of foreverness, a declaration of love, or something else, it’s you two to decide how to take it further and what it ring means to you.
So, there’s no fixed or proven answer to “Which finger to wear engagement ring”? All we know is there are many traditions and rules on the right engagement ring finger based on the region or religion. It’s entirely on you which to choose. But, one thing is for sure. There isn’t a right or wrong way for wearing an engagement ring, particularly in today’s modern world. Hence, you can get as creative or unique as you and your partner like.
While some prefer their middle fingers, others wear their engagement rings on their index fingers. People, at times, take a practical approach to decide on the ring hand or finger as per their lifestyle. If you are left-handed, for example, you may wear the ring on your right hand to protect it and keep it safer from damage. On the contrary, if you want to follow the traditions, you can stick with the ring finger of either the left or right hand. However, if you are free-willed and want to try out new things, then you can go with what works for you.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
In India, engagement rings are usually worn on the left hand by the to-be bride and in right-hand by the to-be grooms. However, there’s no such tradition in the Hindu Culture.
In the United States, both men and women wear engagement rings and wedding bands on the left ring finger.
The engagement ring goes on the left hand’s ring finger.
In India, couples mostly wear their engagement ring in the ring finger. However, the hand may vary based on gender. the boy wears it in the right hand, while the girl wears it in the left.