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Remember how teachers would say there’s no such thing as a stupid question? When it comes to engagement rings, that “rings” true as well. In fact, we always get phone calls and emails from potential customers asking questions they’re nervous about asking face to face.
One of those questions we hear frequently is how to wear engagement rings and wedding bands. It may sound silly, but many people out there just don’t know and prefer not to just come right out and admit it. Fortunately, there are some simple answers here that can help steer you in the right direction.
Despite what you may think, there is really no right or wrong answer. For most people, the answer to this question is a combination of cultural traditions and personal preference.
Generally, no matter which hand you wear your rings on, the most common finger is the one next to your pinkie. That finger is called the “ring” finger because most rings of any kind are worn there.
The tradition of wearing wedding rings on the fourth finger, or “ring” finger, dates back to ancient Rome. It was believed that finger contained a vein that ran directly to the heart. Since wedding rings are associated with love, it was appropriate to wear such a romantic symbol on the finger linked directly to the heart.
Next you might ask, “left or right?”
In the U.S., it’s traditional to wear your wedding band and engagement ring on your left hand. However, many countries such as Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Greece have a right-hand tradition.
It doesn’t really matter, since all brides or grooms are entitled to wear their rings however they choose. For some it’s preference, for some it’s tradition, for some there could be practical reasons for one hand or another.
One thing to consider if possible: Wearing your rings on your non-dominant hand can spare them from much wear and tear. Prongs will wear more slowly, stones won’t chip as easily, and the metal finish will not get beat up as much if you do not wear your jewelry on your dominant hand.
You might not know it, but where you wear your rings can make a huge difference in preserving them. We cover this topic in another article called Why did my jewelry break?
If you’re wearing two or more rings (engagement ring and wedding band), which ring goes on your finger first? What if you have two engagement rings, or two wedding bands? Then what?
Again, we would refer you to personal preference. Some people like to wear the wedding ring closest to their body, possibly because of the Roman myth mentioned above. Since the engagement ring represents a promise, but the wedding ring is the actual final commitment, they want the wedding band to be close to their heart.
Others prefer to wear their engagement ring closer to their body. This way, the two rings are worn in the order that they received them.
If you decide to wear the engagement ring inside and the wedding ring second, the wedding ring acts as a type of “guard” ring to prevent the engagement ring from slipping off in the cold or when wet. Alternatively, when the engagement ring is worn on the inside and the wedding ring after it, that prevents the engagement ring from turning on your finger.
Sure! There is nothing wrong with wearing your wedding ring on one hand and your engagement ring on the other. This way, whether your wedding band is plain or fancy, it is not taking anything away from the look of your engagement diamond, and both rings are shown off equally. It also means you don’t have to worry about getting a wedding band that is an exact match for your engagement ring, so you can get whichever wedding band you like.
Aside from customers preferring to wearing rings on each hand, we’ve found that customers with very small fingers find wearing two rings uncomfortable, so they wear one on each hand instead.
In the end, the choice is solely between you and your significant other. You can even be more individualistic and wear either ring on different fingers, on a necklace, or however you’d like. These are your rings. Enjoy them, cherish them, and be comfortable when you wear them.
You won’t be alone, no matter where or how you choose to wear your engagement ring and wedding band. No matter what you choose, what matters is what is right for you.
To learn more about engagement rings and wedding bands, feel free to visit either of our New Jersey jewelry store locations in Morristown or New Providence to talk to any of our expert jewelers.
If you’d like to talk to someone directly buying engagement rings and wedding bands, you can contact us online anytime by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply fill out our contact form. We’ll answer your questions quickly.