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Your Ring Finger: What Hand Does Your Wedding and Engagement Ring Go On?


It is believed that the concept of a ring exchange goes back to ancient Egypt and ancient Greeks adopting the tradition. In the mid-seventh century, the Visigoth code mandated that the rings showcase an acceptance of a pledge. In 860 A.D., Pope Nicholas I explained the unique differences between Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic practices, with the Pope describing how in Western churches, the man gives his would-be spouse an engagement ring.

The engagement ring represents a dedication to be married. It is a ring that is represented and gifted by a partner to their would-be spouse. It is in worn immediately after accepting the proposal. It represents a formal agreement to future marriage, with most individuals wearing the engagement ring being woman, with the ring featuring a diamond, gemstone, or some sort of precious jewel.

During the Victorian era, diamonds were becoming popular. By 1872, the output of diamond from South Africa exceeded 1 million carats per year. However, diamond engagement rings were still seen as a sign of grandeur, with insolvent families favoring simpler engagement bands.

When it comes to the United States, diamond rings were heavily marketed and had a major impact on engagement rings. The United States went on an advertising phase beginning in 1939. “A diamond is forever” spearheaded the marketing of diamond rings and ultimately persuaded the American public that an engagement ring is essential, and that a diamond is the only acceptable stone.

However, as popular as a diamond is, other stones such as Ruby, Emerald, Garnet, Sapphire and other precious gems are becoming more popular.

Why Do Wedding Rings Go on The Left Hand?

The ancient Romans thought the finger on the left hand ran straight to one’s heart. The vein was called “vena amoris” – when translated, this means the vein of love. To solidify a union between two spouses, the rings will be placed on that finger to signify the romance of a newly married couple. Modern biology notes that all fingers have a vein that connects to the heart. However, like many traditions, the concept of putting the wedding ring on the ring finger of the left hand persists.

Wedding Ring on Right Hand?

Even though it is very popular and even expected to wear the engagement and wedding ring on the ring finger of your left hand, some people are going their own way and placing the rings on their right hand. The ring finger on the right hand has its own code.

For some, wearing the ring on the right hand signifies economic independence. Some women have taken the initiative to buy their own rings and in turn, wear it on whatever finger that they please.  There’s also the matter of family heirlooms. Wedding rings can have emotional value, so some people choose to wear heirlooms on the opposite hand as opposed to letting it gather dust in storage. Wearing on the right hand will constantly remind them of tradition and family values.

Which One Goes First? Engagement Ring or Wedding Band?

Traditionally, the engagement ring showcases an acceptance of the man’s proposal. The first ring represents a promise to marry. The second ring solidifies that promise. At the day of the wedding, the engagement ring is switched to the third finger on your right hand and your spouse places the wedding ring on your ring finger on the left hand. Once married, the engagement band can be moved back to the third finger on it the left-hand. Traditionally, the wedding ring remains closest to the heart and the engagement ring is placed next to the wedding ring.

No matter where you choose to wear your ring, we are sure that the meaning remains the same, love and family, traditional and new beginnings.    Now that you have the perfect ring, Contact One Atlantic Events today to start planning your perfect wedding.