Engagement Ring Hand

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Tradition in most Western cultures dictates that the engagement ring goes on the fourth finger of the left hand. This tradition dates back to Ancient Rome where people believed this finger held a vein that ran directly to the heart. It was known as the “Vena Amoris,” or “vein of love.” While the vein doesn’t exist, the tradition beats on.

History Of The Engagement Ring

While engagement rings can be traced back to Ancient Rome, the first well-documented example of a man giving his love an engagement ring occurred in 1477. Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave the very first diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy. This single act sparked a trend of diamond rings being exchanged between European nobility and aristocracy. 

Diamond engagement rings became more mainstream in 1947. It was this year that De Beers created the slogan, “A diamond is forever.” The marketing campaign proved to be incredibly successful. It marked in the American consciousness that marriage is forever. Today, pretty much everyone signifies their love for one another via a diamond ring. 

Why Does Your Engagement Ring Go On Your Left Hand?

Wedding rings commonly go on the left hand. This is due to Ancient Romans adopting the custom because they believed a vein leading directly to the heart was in this finger. Modern science shows that’s not the case. But the tradition remains. 

In the United States and United Kingdom, the engagement ring goes on the fourth finger of the left hand to signify the couple’s romantic connection. Tradition also states that when the couple finally marries, the wedding band goes on the same finger. The wedding ring goes on first with the engagement ring placed atop.

Can I Wear My Engagement Ring On My Right Hand?

There’s no reason you have to stick with tradition if you don’t want to. You can absolutely wear your engagement ring on your right hand. In fact, some women choose to do so after they get married. They wear the wedding band on the left hand while the engagement ring moves to the right. 

In many cultures, it’s considered bad luck to wear an engagement or wedding ring on the left hand. This is the case in Jewish and Indian cultures. Other countries where engagement rings go on the right hand include:

  • Austria
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Portugal 
  • Spain
  • Venezuela

Many other countries fall into this category. Whether you belong to one of these cultures or just want to be different, you can do whatever you please. 

How Do I Wear My Engagement Ring With My Wedding Band?

Once you tie the knot, tradition states your engagement ring should go back on the fourth finger of your left hand. Your wedding ring should stay closest to your heart, namely where your spouse put it on the big day. Your engagement ring then goes directly next to it. 

Prior to saying your vows, many women place the engagement ring on the fourth finger of their ring hand. That way the proper finger is bare to receive the wedding band during the ceremony. Once the wedding is complete, many women then move the engagement ring back to the left hand. Naturally, you can choose to do whatever you want. It’s your special day, and David Alan wants to make sure you have the perfect rings to celebrate with. 

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