Bridal & Engagement

With This Ring: A Different Way to Wear Your Wedding Band

By Dustin Sitar, MBA - Director of Marketing and Operations
August 31st, 2021

Think wearing it on your left hand is the only option. There’s more than one way to wear a wedding band!

Let’s learn about the history of the the wedding ring and a popular wearing alternative.

Ancient Origins and the Ring Finger

Incredibly, the origin of the wedding ring dates back thousands of years, all the way back to the days of ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans and involves a symbol called Ouroboros.

The concept of Ouroboros is one of the oldest symbols known to humanity. It shows a serpent eating its own tail and symbolizes the flow of time, renewal, evolution, and eternity. The ancient Egyptians recognized circles everywhere, from the rise and fall of the sun to the annual flooding of the Nile and the rotation of the seasons.

Ouroboros - Serpent eating its own tail in the shape of a ring

The Egyptian pharaohs were also the first to tie rings to the concept of eternity. Like the serpent devouring its tail, rings had no beginning and no end; they echoed the shape of the sacred sun and moon and carried the association of the never-ending cycle. They also had a space in the middle, representing the gateway to the unknown—perhaps the future, or more finally, death.

Eternity, renewal, no end, and no beginning… It’s not hard to see how these ancient concepts of ouroboros have transformed into the values we associate with marriage today. The Egyptians also gave us another enduring tradition: wearing wedding rings on our fourth “ring” finger.

Have you ever wondered why we do that? Well, there’s a good reason! Ancient Egyptians believed that the ring finger was home to the vena amoris—the “vein of love” that traveled straight to the heart. These days, of course, we know this is anatomically incorrect, but the charming ritual lives on.

women wearing her wedding band on her right index finger

Raise Your Right Hand

In Western cultures, you’ll see most couples wearing wedding rings on the fourth finger of their left hand – but this isn’t the case for everyone. Many countries and cultures still wear engagement and wedding bands on the right hand because they use their right for oaths and vows. These include India, Greece, Russia, Ukraine, and much of Eastern Europe.

There’s a story behind why some use the right hand for rings. It’s believed that the placement of wedding rings on the left hand is a relatively recent development. Before the 1700s, virtually everyone was wearing them on their right-hand ring finger.

Reader’s Digest postulates that the reason for the switch to the left hand (ostensibly the non-dominant hand) was as a way for women to show deference to their husbands, who didn’t wear wedding bands at that time. It’s also suggested that ancient Romans wore their wedding rings on their right hands because the left hand was thought to be evil, sinister, or untrustworthy.

How Do You Wear Your Wedding Band? Right, Left, or Other?

If you don’t feel compelled by ring traditions, you can simply move your band to another finger, another hand, or another place altogether. Ultimately, a wedding ring symbolizes a vow between two people, and the way you wear that ring should fit you and your loved one. Do what makes you feel right. At the end of the day, your ring is just that: yours.

No matter which way you decide to wear it, make sure you have the right protection. BriteCo combined the lowest prices with the best coverage because we understand how important piece of mind on your important pieces is. BriteCo’s insurance will cover your wedding band, your engagement ring, or any other fine jewelry item. Get covered today with a FREE jewelry insurance quote.

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About the Author

Dustin Sitar is the Director of Marketing and Operations at BriteCo dedicated to consistently serving and motivating customers through education and inspiration. Prior to joining BriteCo, Dustin was a Senior Analyst on the Merchandising Strategy team at Zappos.com focused on bringing new products to the market. He holds an MBA in Finance from the W.P. Carey School of Business.
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