Engagement rings are a beautiful thing, signifying a bond between lovers for a lifetime. However, which hand are they worn on? Universally, people wear wedding rings on different fingers depending on where you are. In western culture, it’s customary to wear your engagement or wedding rings on your left hand, second finger from your pinky.
Why Do We Wear Engagement Rings On Our Left Fourth Finger?
“Vena Amoris” is the reason we wear rings on the finger we do. This phrase, originating in Latin, directly translates to “vein of love”. The belief was that this was the only finger to have a vein directly connecting to the heart, and by wearing a ring on this finger, it is a way to keep your loved ones close to your heart. This thought has since been myth busted. While there is, in fact, a vein leading from your fourth finger to the heart, it's not the only finger that has one. In fact, modern medicine has proven that all of your fingers have a vein leading to the heart!
Why Do We Use Rings to Signify Marriage?
Origins for wedding rings start in Ancient Egyptian times. Egyptians worshipped both their sun and moon gods, which the shape of the earliest rings signified. The shape of a ring represents eternity, which has no beginning or end. This signified the eternal connection that a couple shares. The open shape in a ring was also said to be a metaphor for the unknown. This custom of exchanging wedding rings was adopted by the Greeks when Alexander the Great conquered Egypt, and added more meaning between lovers. At first these rings were made of common materials such as leather, bone, and ivory, but over time they were made with precious metals like silver and gold, which was a representation of trust between partners of their wealth.
Wedding Ring Traditions Around The World
Not everyone uses their left hand for engagement rings. Norway, Germany, Russia and India all wear their rings on their right hand - this is because they believe the left hand is unlucky. In Chile, wedding rings are worn on the right hand until their wedding day, when they are transferred onto their left to signify the completion of the marriage. No matter what country, wedding rings are celebrated and cherished in their own special ways.
The wedding ring is a beautiful representation of lifetime partnership and an eternity of happiness. No matter what hand you wear it on, it is a constant reminder to you and others that you’ve found your other half.