Which Hand for Engagement Rings, Wedding Rings and Eternity Rings?

Engagement ring worn on the correct hand and finger

Which hand does the engagement ring go on?

By tradition, the engagement ring goes on the third finger of the left hand. This is the official ring finger. Engagement rings never go on the index finger although some people choose to wear their rings on very different fingers. Many of our clients ask which finger to wear the engagement ring on. In addition, the same questions gets asked for both wedding and eternity rings.

Please note that some sources suggest the engagement ring finger goes on the fourth finger. Keep in mind, many such articles strangely count the thumb when quoting the fourth finger. But all sources agree on the left hand, second-from-smallest finger. 

For men and women the engagement ring and wedding ring are worn on the left hand.

Some call the appropriate finger the ‘engagement ring finger’. Others refer to it as the ‘wedding ring finger’ or ‘marriage finger’. All terms point to the same third finger of the left hand.

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Why is the engagement ring finger so important?

The engagement ring finger is very important for most of us. As a result of tradition, we adhere to strict traditions. When it comes to engagement rings, the engagement ring finger always dictates where an engagement ring sits on the hand.

Which goes on first, the wedding ring or engagement ring?

Once married, the engagement ring goes on the finger after the wedding ring. An engagement ring is removed for day-to-day tasks. This is a more practical way to wear the rings. Removal of the engagement ring for day-to-day tasks ensures protection to ensure the continued shine and sparkle of the ring.

Worn together on the left hand, the wedding ring goes on the finger before the engagement ring.

Why is the engagement ring worn on the left hand?

Some ancient cultures believed in a vein flowing from the left hand to the heart. This belief resulted in the traditional of wearing bridal rings on a specific finger. Commonly referred to as the ‘Vein of Love’ its name comes from Latin.

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Does the Vena Amoris vein flow directly to the heart?

Many romantics quote a very old myth. The ring finger has a vein of love flowing directly to the heart—aka the Vena Amoris. Although very romantic, this simply is not true. There is no specific vein in the ring finger directly connected to the heart.

A practical explanation for wearing an engagement ring on the left hand

Since most people are right-handed, there is a certain practical sense to wearing an engagement ring on the left hand. An engagement ring and wedding band receive less wear than if worn on the dominant hand. Some refer to the right hand as the action hand. The opposing hand causes less wear for wedding bands and engagement rings.

CanadaMark diamond in a modern 4 claw setting, shown on the engagement ring finger

What hand does your wedding ring go on?

Your wedding ring goes on your left hand. And, what finger does the wedding ring go on? Wedding rings go on the same finger as an engagement ring. So if you’ve ever wondered which hand does the wedding ring go on, you now have the answer! And who doesn’t wear wedding rings after marriage?

When are wedding rings worn on the right hand?

Some people wear wedding rings on the right hand. For medical reasons including swollen knuckles, a person might decide on wearing a wedding ring on the opposite hand. Ultimately the wedding ring hand is a personal choice. However, many wearers consider tradition when making the decision.

What finger does the engagement ring go on before marriage?

What to do with your engagement ring on your wedding day

Before marriage, the engagement ring is worn on the third finger of the left hand. There are many opinions about how to wear your engagement ring on the big day. Most brides place their engagement ring on the right hand before the ceremony. After the wedding ceremony, the engagement ring goes back onto the ring finger of the left hand. Wedding bands are rarely worn on the opposite hand to the engagement ring.

Daisy 7 stone diamond cluster engagement ring

The beautiful ‘Daisy’ engagement ring, available in many carat weight options

What if your engagement ring won’t fit onto your right hand? Or what if your engagement ring cannot be removed?

There are two suggestions in this instance. Either leave your engagement ring on the existing finger. If you can remove your engagement ring, you could leave it in trust with a relative during the ceremony. Worn for many years, without removal, your ring might be difficult to remove due to swollen fingers, or even due to enlarged knuckles. If you really cannot remove the ring, our advice would be to seek professional help. It simply is not healthy to wear a ring, so tight, that it cannot be removed.

Why do some photographs show engagement rings and wedding rings on the right hand?

Some bridal photos show the diamond engagement ring and wedding ring worn on the right hand. When photographs appear in reverse, the illusion of incorrect finger sometimes occurs. In contrast, the wedding ring finger viewed in the photograph is the left hand, appearing in reverse.

How to wear a wedding ring

Some clients ask how to wear wedding rings. More specifically the sequence of rings on the finger. Firstly the wedding ring goes onto the finger. Next, the engagement ring. Finally, the eternity ring. Workers in health industries wear a plain wedding ring. Placed on the hand first, the ring remains in place during work.

Which order do you wear an engagement, wedding and eternity ring? How to stack your rings

The question of what order to wear your engagement ring, wedding ring and eternity ring frequently arises. After confirming which hand and finger, let’s turn our attention to the order rings are worn.

Firstly the wedding ring goes onto the finger. People rarely remove the wedding ring unless a risk of damage arises. Secondly, the engagement ring goes onto the finger. Finally, the eternity ring sits on the outside. People remove both rings on a more frequent basis. Typically the engagement ring sits between the wedding and eternity ring.

The Engagement ring finger

Showing an engagement ring, wedding ring and eternity ring in order on the hand

Showing the sequence of wedding ring, engagement ring and eternity ring worn in order on the hand. Engagement ring style ref. Eleanor. 

Engagement ring styles

Our UK showroom and website collection boasts a fabulous range of different diamond engagement ring styles. From simple solitaire diamond engagement rings to elaborate bespoke designs. We craft each ring individually, working with a varied choice of precious metals and diamonds. View just some of our many engagement ring styles online within our website range.

Stacking rings on the same finger?

At this time, stacking rings are very fashionable. Likewise, stacking matching engagement, wedding ring and eternity rings give a fabulous effect. Some triple stacking rings give a three ring effect all on the same finger.

Stacking rings worn on the same finger

Stacking rings, wearable on the same finger (Clover design – Serendipity Diamonds)

Do you need additional help?

After reading our post, contact us for any additional help needed. Whether you require assistance on the wedding ring finger, engagement ring finger or specific jewellery styles, we’re there to help. Furthermore, our small and friendly team of jewellery experts give wonderful advice. We work daily from our luxury showroom in Ryde on the Isle of Wight, advising clients Worldwide.

Wedding Bands and Widths for Hands

Don’t forget to take a look at our post on wedding bands and widths for hands. We included a useful video to show some of the wedding ring widths of bands as they appear on the finger.

Send us a photograph of your wedding finger or engagement ring finger

Why not photograph your wedding finger complete with your ring, or rings. They, email us your photo and we’ll add it to our blog. Finally include your name and we’ll add it to a gallery on this post. Whether you post a photo of your left ring finger, or right-handed ring finger, we’ll gladly share the photo. If you wear your ring on a specific finger, or hand, tell us why.

Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website. Anyone interested can connect with Mark on Linkedin via the profile link.

Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website. Anyone interested can connect with Mark on Linkedin via the profile link.