The fourth finger of your left hand, for the average American, is known to be the engagement ring finger and bears witness to your relationship status. After the marriage, the wedding ring is added to the engagement ring finger.
While different countries have different customs, but in the US and UK (and most Western countries) this is an accepted tradition.
Beliefs, History and Lots Of Faith
In Old Egypt, people held a belief that the vena amoris, or the ‘vein of love’, began in the fourth finger of the left hand and led all the way to the heart. To them, a precious jewelry not only symbolized that the woman had a right to her husband’s possessions, but that she had also unlocked his heart! This tradition has since evolved in to a symbol of commitment of eternal love between the newly married couple.
The Greeks followed suit and the tradition has carried on till date, even though modern biology has negated the ‘vein of love’ connection from the engagement ring finger.
Strangely, the use of the fourth finger in the left hand as the ring finger is not the tradition followed in other countries. In fact, some consider the left hand as unlucky (unclean) and prefer right hand. In Russia, Columbia, Germany, Norway and India, engagement rings are worn on the right hand. (Left, in Latin, means ‘sinister’) Greek brides and grooms traditionally wear their wedding rings on the right, as do Orthodox Christians.
Men too, in some cultures (and many millennials) choose to wear wedding band on their engagement ring finger to show they are committed in a relationship. One of the most famous celebrity males to wear an engagement ring is Ed Sheeran, who announced his engagement on 19th January 2018.
The symbolism of sporting engagement and wedding ring on the ring finger remains strong. For generation now, we have seen wedding proposals being represented with a ring, as opposed to say a necklace or bracelet as the ‘perfect circle’ of the band indicates completeness of the relationship.
Pro-Tip: The engagement ring finger size of the left hand is smaller than of the right. So, while selecting a wedding band or engagement ring, always have the measurements for the hand on which you intend to wear your engagement ring.
Diamonds and Wedding Rings
It wasn’t that long after wedding rings became popular that diamonds came and wowed everyone. After all, a diamond is the hardest and most durable substance known to mankind, making it the perfect choice to represent everlasting love and the promise of forever.
What about the wedding rings or bands?
Some brides prefer that the wedding ceremony be strictly about the wedding rings exchanged. For that reason, they choose to place their engagement ring on their right hand or wear it around a chain. Really there aren’t any rules when it comes to where the engagement ring be placed during the wedding. To each its own. Some would rather start carry on with their engagement ring on finger and simply add the wedding ring to it.
In the US, for example, it’s also quite common to see brides wear their wedding bands solo. This allows them to build a collection of bands for their right hand. As we said, there are no rules anymore! The most important thing for many is that they can wear their wedding jewelry in a way that is comfortable for them.
If you’re looking for a wedding ring to match your engagement ring, or would just like some advice from our experts, our team are on hand to help. Get in touch or shop our stunning range of engagement and wedding rings.