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What Hand Do Engagement Rings Go On?

What Hand Do Engagement Rings Go On?

Posted by Hyde Park Jewelers on 7th Dec 2022

In many western cultures, the traditional engagement ring will go on the left hand. For thousands of years, the exchanging of rings has been a symbol of love, promise, and devotion. Putting the engagement ring on the fourth finger of the left hand is commonly practiced in the United States. This finger is called the ring finger, since many place the engagement ring on it. And although this is common practice in the United States, you’ll find that other cultures do not follow this practice.

What Finger Does Your Engagement Go On?

It is believed by the ancient Romans that the fourth finger of the left hand has a vein that runs directly to the heart. This vein is called the “Vena Amoris,” or called the “Vein of love.” Since many cultures believe that the heart is the center of all emotions, it made the most sense for the ring to symbolize love, devotion, and a promise to be placed on this finger. Many stack the wedding ring and the engagement ring on the fourth finger of the left hand. Others choose to separate the two, making the engagement ring stand alone on its own finger.

This is a common tradition in western civilization, but it is not common practice around the world.

The History Of Engagement Rings

The first recorded use of an engagement ring finger was in 1477. Archduke Maximillian of Austria married Mary of Burgundy, he used a hogback diamond, or what is commonly known as a baguette diamond. This sparked the popularity of using diamonds for engagement rings. Since diamonds are the hardest substance, many wanted to have a stone that would symbolize the love, devotion, and promise that the wedding stands for. Since no two diamonds are alike, as well as one of the rarest stones on earth, this means even more for couples, since no two love stories and partnerships are the same.

What Do Other Cultures Do?

Some cultures do not use the fourth finger on the left hand. In Latin “left” means “sinister.” With this, some cultures have made it tradition to not use the left hand to place the engagement ring. They also consider it unlucky to wear their engagement ring on the left hand. The countries that don’t use the fourth finger of the left hand are:

  • Russia
  • Germany
  • Norway
  • India
  • Greece
  • Colombia

In countries like Sweden and Chile, it is common for both men and women to wear engagement rings. In Chile it is also tradition to have the engagement rings on the right hand and on the day of the wedding, the rings are transferred to the left hand.

How Are Wedding Rings Worn?

Some choose to stack their wedding ring and their engagement rings. Although, it is also commonly practiced that during the wedding ceremony, the wedding ring is placed on the left hand, over the Vena Amoris, and the engagement ring is placed on the right hand. After the wedding ceremony, the couples will place the engagement ring over their wedding rings.

Visiting A Professional

While it is common practice in Western civilization to put the engagement ring on the left hand, other cultures like those in Russia, Germany, Norway, and India choose to place the engagement ring on the right hand. The origin of placing it on the left hand comes from ancient Romans, with the fourth finger on the left hand having the Vena Amoris or the “Vein of Love.” Whichever finger or hand you place it on, the engagement ring is a symbol of your commitment to your partnership with your significant other.

At Hyde Park Jewelers, we can help you pick out the rings of your dream. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll get professional care for your love and commitment. To purchase an engagement ring, contact us today to see what style is best for you.