What Hand Does the Engagement Ring Go On?

January 16th, 2023

Not sure which hand your engagement ring should go on? You’re not alone.

With all of the traditions and stories suggesting which hand to put your ring on, it is easy to get confused.

Here’s all you need to know about your engagement ring finger, including where many traditions came from.

What Does an Engagement Represent?

An engagement is a commitment between two people who are set to wed. With an engagement, the couple expresses their intention to a lifetime commitment by marriage. About eighty percent of couples get married within a year of getting engaged. So for most couples, the proposal signals the start of wedding planning, typically months in advance of the big day.

What Is an Engagement Ring?

An engagement ring, also known as a betrothal ring, is the ring that signifies the promise of marriage. Generally, an engagement ring is presented during the proposal or, after she or he says “YES.”

What Hand Does the Engagement Ring Traditionally Go On?

An engagement ring is worn on the left ‘ring finger’ (the fourth finger of your left hand). The tradition of wearing an engagement ring on the left ring finger can be traced back to the ancient Romans. They believed this finger had a vein (Vena Amoris meaning Vein of Love) that ran directly to the heart.

However, modern medicine has revealed that each of your fingers has a vein that leads to your heart. So some couples choose to wear engagement rings on the fourth finger on their right hand while the wedding ring goes to the fourth finger on their left.

Can I Wear an Engagement Ring On My Right Hand?

Can I Wear an Engagement Ring On My Right Hand?

Of course you can rock an engagement ring on your right hand if you want to. In fact, engagement rings are typically worn on the fourth finger of the right hand in many nations throughout Eastern Europe, Including Greece, Hungary, Ukraine,  Bulgaria, and Latvia, as well as countries in Western Europe such as Austria, Netherlands, and Germany.

Wedding rings, in contrast, are traditionally worn on the fourth finger of your left hand (left ring finger). This is common in countries that include the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Australia, and Canada. This wedding ring custom dates back to the 11th century, when during Christian betrothal rites, men would bless the ring and place it on their wives’ left ring finger.

What Does a Ring On Each Finger Mean?

Wearing rings on different fingers has taken on different meanings over time.

For example:

Two Rings On The Left Pinkie Finger –

This used to be a custom for men many years ago. They wore their wedding ring and a signet ring on the little left finger to signify their marital status.

Left Index Finger

This finger was reserved for royalty, and people would kneel and kiss the ring on it.

Either Middle Finger

Although there is no specific significance here, the fact that it is the longest digit makes it stand out when a ring is worn on it.

Left Ring Finger

The left ring finger is typically reserved for your wedding ring. The wedding ring is worn next to the engagement ring. However, in more traditional wedding ceremonies some women transfer the engagement ring to the ring finger on their right hand just before they enter the church or marriage venue. This is done so the husband can freely place the wedding ring on the ring finger of the left hand.

Do Men Wear Engagement Rings?

Do Men Wear Engagement Rings?

Yes! Men do wear engagement rings. However, most men choose to wear their engagement on the ring finger of their right hand. Men who feel uncomfortable wearing engagement and wedding rings on the same finger might choose to attach their engagement ring to a neck chain while wearing only the wedding ring.  

Keep in mind that these days there is really no right or wrong when it comes to wearing your wedding and engagement rings on the hand that you choose. Depending on your tradition and lifestyle, your decision is what counts. .

Where to Get Jewelry Insurance

BriteCo offers affordable jewelry insurance that will give you comprehensive coverage and peace of mind. Our policies can be purchased within minutes online, and claims can be easily submitted on our website.

Our policy offers worldwide coverage for loss, theft, damage, and mysterious disappearance. We also offer safe storage discounts and monthly premium options and cover up to 125% of your item’s appraised value. 

Contact us today to learn more about our coverage, or use our convenient online tool to get a quote for your insurance plan in minutes.

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About the Author

Dustin Lemick is the Founder and CEO of BriteCo and a third-generation jeweler with over thirteen years of retail jewelry experience. He holds a Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has in-depth knowledge and expertise in appraisal systems, diamond and gemstone markets, retail pricing models, insurance replacement models, and jewelry quotation pricing systems.
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