Engagement ring: Which hand?


The customs concerning on which hand to wear your engagement ring vary from one country to another.

Most people agree on which finger to wear the engagement ring. But on which hand is it usually worn? Depending on country, culture and religion, customs differ. We have an overview ready for you.

Engagement ring on the left hand: USA, UK, Germany, Austria, …

In many countries, including the United States and Great Britain, engagement rings are worn on the left hand. This tradition goes back to an old myth that was already being told by the Romans: It was long believed that there was a vein leading directly from the left ring finger to the heart. Thus, lovers should wear their ring around this “vena amoris.” However, the engagement ring is usually stacked onto the wedding band at the right ring finger on the wedding day.

Engagement ring on the right hand. Southern European countries, Russia, Switzerland, …

In Switzerland, Russia and many southern European countries, engagement rings are worn on the right hand. In Switzerland, however, the wedding band is then worn on the left hand.

Catholics: What hand goes the engagement ring on?

Catholics traditionally wear engagement rings on the right hand. Pursuant to a quote from Exodus (15.6), the right side is the “good, lucky” side. This tradition often collides with many local traditions, though.

Engagement rings in Islam

Neither engagement rings nor wedding bands have a strict tradition in Islam. Therefore, you are free to wear it anywhere.

What happens to the engagement ring during and after the wedding ceremony?

Many women like to wear both their engagement ring and wedding band after their wedding. Then, the engagement ring is worn above the wedding band, meaning the wedding band is put on first.

It’s the bride’s choice whether she wants to wear her engagement ring during the ceremony or not. In case it will be worn on the same hand as the wedding band, it can be placed on the other hand during the ceremony. By doing so, the engagement ring can later be put back onto the other hand, stacked above the wedding band. Some brides also decide not to wear their engagement ring during the wedding ceremony at all.

Engagement ring: Which hand for right and left handers?

Today, many people don’t follow the traditional guidelines anymore and make an Independent choice regarding which hand they want to wear their ring on. Thus, many right-handed people choose to wear their ring on the left hand and vice versa. This way, the ring doesn’t disrupt them when handwriting, for example. This also decreases the everyday exposure to wear and tear.

Overview: What hand does the engagement ring go on?

The left hand wears the engagement ring for example in

  • United Stades
  • UK
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Austria
  • France

The right hand wears the engagement ring for example in

  • Russia
  • Poland
  • Switzerland
  • Greece
  • Colombia
  • India
  • Spain
  • Peru
  • Norway
  • Denmark