The right finger to host an engagement ring. Some might say, easy answer – it is the fourth finger on the left hand (next to the pinky finger). Others, well we are sure you have had to google search this before or ask a friend.
Yes, in Australia, and many countries around the world, we share ideas about putting the engagement ring on the left hand. But there is a little bit more to it than that, AND did you know other countries have different engagement ring traditions?
Let’s explore more around the engagement ring and what finger it should be represented on for the rest of your marriage!
Background of the engagement ring and the term ‘engagement’
For Western culture, the engagement ring dates back to Ancient Roman times where they chose the finger (fourth finger on the left hand) because they believed there was a vein that ran to the heart. As it was thought to be connected to the heart, it was named the Vena Amoris or “Vien of Love”. Although this ideology has been proven to be wrong, the transition still remains.
As for why a ring symbolised engagement or marriage, it is because the circle of the band represented completeness. So, this meant the love of a couple both wearing a ring was to symbolise being complete.
However, there is an exception to the left-hand rule, which we will discuss soon!
What to do with your engagement ring before and after the wedding
Before the wedding, of course, you wear your engagement ring on your left ring finger (the fourth finger). This represents your promise to marry, but this is where it can get a little confusing.
Once you get married, most couples also have a wedding band, which goes with the engagement ring. It is up to personal preference, but some brides will put their engagement ring on their right-hand ring finger for the ceremony of their wedding.
After the ceremony, the engagement ring is usually placed back onto the left hand to pair up with the wedding band. Moving forward, it really is a personal preference, some wear both. Others just wear one or the other.
What to do with your wedding band
The wedding band is traditionally worn closest to the heart, so this is why most brides will wear their engagement ring on the right hand for the ceremony.
Also, this means it is easier for the groom to slide the ring on without having to move the engagement ring in the process.
As we mentioned, there are many ways the engagement ring and wedding band can be paired moving forward, some of these include:
- Leaving the engagement ring on the right hand
- Wearing the engagement ring closer to the heart
- Combining the engagement and wedding rings together into one piece of jewellery
- Wearing the engagement ring only on special occasions
Do you need a wedding band as well?
Traditionally, a wedding band is paired with the engagement ring on the day of marriage. However, a wedding band could also be the engagement ring, it comes down to personal preference.
Should men have wedding bands? Or even engagement rings? Usually, it is the woman who wears the engagement ring, but there is no rule against a man wearing an engagement ring. Singer and songwriter, Ed Sheeran is a big advocate for a male engagement ring and with the legalisation of same-sex marriage, more men are wearing engagement rings too.
When it comes to choosing a wedding band and deciding whether it will be different from the engagement ring or not, you really want to make sure you do your research. We have the perfect article for you to get started, read more here.
Engagement rings in other countries
In a lot of Western cultures, the engagement ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. But this isn’t the case in all countries. Places like Russia, Greece, Germany, India and Norway have the engagement ring presented on the right hand.
This comes from the meaning of the word ‘left’ in Latin, which is sinister. So, this makes the left hand ‘unlucky’ in these cultures.
In countries like Sweden and Chile, men also wear engagement rings and in Chile, the rings are worn on the right hand until the day of marriage where they exchange them to the left.
Asking the question “which finger do you wear an engagement ring on?” Doesn’t seem like such a silly question after all, does it?
Which finger do you wear an engagement ring on?
So, to clarify, in Australia, we wear engagement rings on the fourth finger of the left hand (next to the pinky finger). On the day of marriage, most women change the engagement ring to be worn on the right hand until the wedding band is placed.
Once the ceremony is over, the engagement ring will be transferred over to secure the wedding band closer to the heart. Moving forward some wear this as a set, while others will wear one or the other.
Choosing the engagement ring
Now you know the hand, is it time to choose a ring? Don’t be scared, this can be an easier process with the right research and the perfect jeweller.
When you are going to start browsing for the ring of your partner’s dreams, you want to think of a few things:
- What type of hand she has (click here to read more)
- What type of style she likes
- What is your budget (click here to read more)
Better yet, contact Kalfin today and we can help you start the process with a simple appointment!
Just in case you missed all of the above and need the answer to the question “which finger do you wear an engagement ring on?”. In Australia, the ring is placed on the fourth finger (known as the ring finger) on the left hand.
Why? Because in Ancient Roman tradition, this was believed to be the finger connected to the heart. The ring symbolises completeness, so that is why it is a ring we use to showcase love, eternity and marriage.
As always, we are here to help you! Kalfin Jewellery specialises in high-quality custom-made diamond engagement rings. We understand that choosing an engagement ring is a big decision. There are countless options to explore and plenty of questions you’ll need answered by an expert before you make that decision.