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Which Finger Does An Engagement Ring Go On?

Posted on 3rd January 2021

This is a question often asked.  It might sound obvious but it is not as straightforward as you might think as there are different traditions around the world.

Engagement ring finger UK

In the UK, the engagement ring is worn on the ring finger, which is on the left finger next to the pinkie.  We actually call this the “ring finger” just to keep things simple. The wedding ring is also worn on the ring finger.

Do you know why we decided the engagement ring should go on this finger?  The story is rather interesting.  The old Egyptians in ancient times lay down this tradition. Did you know that on this finger there is a vein which runs from your finger all the way to your heart?

couple_just_engagedYour ring finger is directly connected to your heart.  

So sweet.

This is the reason the finger was chosen for both the engagement and wedding ring in the UK and many other countries.   For your reference here is a list of some of the main countries which wear their engagement & wedding ring on their left hand.

The engagement ring is worn on the left hand in:

Australia, Botswana, Canada, Egypt, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK, and the US; France, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, and Finland; Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, and Romania.

And, on the right:

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Netherlands [if not Catholic], Norway, and (Catholic) Spain. In Central or South America, these include Colombia, Cuba, Peru, Venezuela.

There are also variations according to which religious tradition the couple is from.  The decision doesn’t always rest on which country they come from, or are getting married in.   For example, in the Jewish faith it is customary for the wedding ring to go on the right-hand during the ceremony and then after the ceremony on the left.

In Muslim culture, much of the time neither an engagement ring nor wedding ring is part of the tradition.  However, with the influence of so many cultures coming together, some couples now decide that they wish to have rings regardless.

Which finger should a men's engagement ring go on?

You can see from this graph that there has been an increase in the search for men's engagement rings over the last several years.

googletrendsmensengagementring

Driven in part by the legalization of same-sex marriages.   However, it is also becoming more popular for men to wear an engagement ring alongside their wife to be as well.  Recently Ed Sheeran caused a big fuss in the press when he was spotted wearing an engagement ring, which he later announced was made by Fiance Cherry Seaborn. 

The same rules about which finger to wear your engagement ring on applies for the men! So, check the list above and see which hand your ring finger is on.

We hope this post has cleared up your question.  It’s not as straightforward as it first might appear.   When deciding which finger to wear your rings on its important to sit down and discuss it with your partner, especially if you are coming from different backgrounds.    

Perhaps your partner has very different views about the traditions of tying the knot and it's important that you both feel represented & heard.

We’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.  For more reading check out the related posts. 

Related Posts

Royal Engagement Ring Photos

Engagement Traditions

Things you should know before you plan your wedding

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