As a child you may have imagined the perfect proposal. The moment where you or your partner would get on one knee, present a beautiful ring then slide it into place after that much awaited yes. But which finger does the engagement ring belong on?
What hand does the engagement ring go on?
Most cultures and nationalities, mainly those in the Western hemisphere, wear their engagement ring on the left hand. However, there may be circumstances where the right hand is the right choice for you. It is perfectly acceptable to wear your engagement ring on the right hand. As mentioned earlier, the wearing on the left hand is not universally recognised, as many European, South American, and Asian countries wear their wedding jewellery on the right hand. Many of these regions do so out of tradition, some individuals do it to break the norm, and others simply prefer to have a ring that lies on their dominant hand. In the end, it comes down to the wearer’s preference. Remember, the most important thing is that your engagement ring is comfortable and works for you whether on your left or right hand.
Looking for your dream engagement ring? See our full collection here or alternatively if you are wanting a more bespoke piece speak to our team today.
Why does the engagement ring go on the left hand?
The tradition of wearing an engagement ring on the left-hand dates back to Ancient Rome, where those in love would mark their romantic union on that specific hand. Since then, the tradition has been maintained in abundance.
Which finger does the engagement ring go on?
The engagement ring is placed on the fourth finger on the left hand. It is so common for individuals and couples to wear their ring on the fourth finger that it has been dubbed the ‘ring finger.’ Many will refrain from wearing jewellery on their ring finger, reserving it, especially for an engagement.
History of the ring finger
In ancient Rome the common belief was that the fourth finger on the left hand was able to cure ailments by releasing blood from the finger. The Romans would wear a ring of gold on that finger to adorn and cherish it above the rest.
The Romans believed that the left hand contained a vein in the finger between the pinky and middle finger that connected directly to the heart. This ring became symbolic of the union of marriage. This vein was known as vena amoris, which translates to ‘vein of love’ in Latin. Since then, it has become symbolic to wear an engagement ring on that specific finger. Forever showing that your partner is connected directly to your heart.
At Browns we understand that choosing an engagement ring is a symbol of a timeless connection and our team is happy to help bring your dream ring to reality. Whether looking for a traditional solitaire like our Poppy diamond ring or with a modern twist such as our Fleur hidden halo.
When did people start wearing their ring on that finger?
People first began wearing their engagement ring on their ring finger during ancient Greek and Roman times, with records showing the earliest sighting to be in the 1600s. Since then, the tradition has held and become the defining symbol of someone in a committed relationship.
Can you wear your engagement ring on another finger?
While it might be acceptable to wear your engagement ring on a different hand, what about a different finger? Although most people adhere to Roman tradition and wear their engagement ring on their ring finger, there are no rules that dictate that this is the ‘correct’ way.
In fact, today, more couples are setting their own rules, and with strives toward equality and individual expression, many have taken the liberty to go against cultural norms and break tradition.
Therefore, today, it is popular to do what is right for you and your relationship. Therefore, you can wear your engagement ring in any way that holds meaning to you. If that means wearing it on a different finger, on a chain around your neck, or anything else, that is yours to embrace.
Certain circumstances may prevent individuals from wearing an engagement ring on their left ring finger, so you may be asking how you can also showcase your wedding jewellery in a different way. There are numerous ways you can wear your engagement ring that does not have to be on your ring finger. For instance, you could opt for wearing your ring on a delicate chain around your neck, or a different finger entirely, if you still want your ring on your hand.
However, you could even choose against wearing a ring and choose a necklace, bracelet, ear cuff, anklet, or any other piece of jewellery that you like and know you’ll cherish forever. Just as long as it holds sentiment and significance for you, you can showcase your engagement and marriage in any way that you wish to.
How to wear your engagement ring and wedding ring?
The typical way for your engagement ring and wedding ring to be worn is on your left ring finger, with your wedding ring sitting snug below your engagement ring to essentially lock your wedding ring in place. Although, in some countries, many do the same on the right hand.
It’s clear that there are many ways to wear and style your wedding jewellery, but only some that perfectly encapsulates your personality and relationship. For instance, if you are someone with traditional views, then sticking to the way things have been done for centuries may be the most romantic way to symbolise your love story.
However, if you are someone with a more unique or quirky sense of style who would love nothing more than to put your own spin on your engagement, then one of the many alternatives to wearing an engagement ring, or any piece of jewellery, could be the best fit.
Do you wear both your engagement ring and wedding ring together?
After the wedding, some individuals choose to retire their engagement ring, bringing it out for only special occasions but wearing their wedding ring on a daily basis. Others may choose to wear them both together. Whichever you choose there is no right or wrong answer.
Which goes on first, the wedding ring or engagement ring?
Those who choose to wear both will likely plan their wedding jewellery in advance to ensure each ring compliments the other. Since engagement rings traditionally feature a diamond, many will anticipate how their wedding ring will sit either on top or below it. Some diamonds will be large and will need to sit on top of a wedding ring, whereas some may be more unique or smaller in size, and will complement a wedding ring that sits above it. During your wedding you may find it best to temporarily place your engagement ring on your right hand, this is so when it is time to place your wedding ring this does not get in the way.
Whichever hand you choose there are no specific rules, and you should always choose comfort and personal preference above all.
Now that your imagination may be running wild with the many possibilities for how to wear your wedding jewellery, all that’s left is finding the perfect ring! Browse our beautiful collections of engagement rings and wedding rings today to find your forever piece.