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How to wear the engagement ring and wedding band?

April 6, 2018/ BY Alina

Whether you’re about to get married, preparing for a proposal or are just curious. It never hurts to know a little ring etiquette. We get a lot of questions about when which ring goes on which finger. Many people know that the ring goes on the ring finger. But which hand was it again? And what happens to the engagement ring once you’re married? Of course, we have the answers for you.

How to wear the engagement ring

A proposal often comes together with a ring to symbolize the planned wedding and the life together. Most of the times it’s the woman who receives the engagement ring. In Western cultures, it is custom she wears it on the ring finger of her left hand.

man putting an engagement ring on the ring finger of his fiancee

The Vera Amoris

The reason to wear the ring on the third finger of the left hand originates from the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. They believed the “Vera Amoris” was a blood vein that ran from the third finger of the left hand immediately to the heart. This way, the ring from the loved one would be as close to the heart as possible. Romantic, isn’t it? Modern anatomy, however, teaches us that the Vera Amoris is just a myth. There is no vein that runs straight from the heart to a finger. What a bummer.

Wait, I wear my engagement ring on my right hand

In many Western countries (e.g. the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States) it is common to wear the engagement ring on the left hand. However, there are also exceptions. In many countries, people wear the engagement ring on their right hand. The Old Romans stated that right symbolizes everything good in the world and left all evil. The Latin word for left is “sinister”. So, yeah… With that in mind, I guess it makes sense to wear the ring on the right hand.

female right hand with engagement ring

Religious reasons for left or right

And then there are religious reasons to wear the engagement ring on a particular side. These are also subject to the country you live in. In the Netherlands, Catholics wear the engagement ring on the right hand. Protestants wear it on the left hand. When they eventually get married, the ring switches to the other hand.

Practical reasons for left or right

Nowadays, people are more practical and religion plays a less dominant role in these kinds of situations. From a practical perspective, it makes sense to wear the ring on the left hand. Most people are right-handed and use the right hand more often than their left one. Engagement rings are very valuable. So you want to avoid traces of use or damage as much as possible. By wearing the engagement hand on your non-dominant hand, you reduce the risks of damaging it. If the wearer is left-handed, she can wear it on her right hand for practical reasons.

husband and wife wearing their wedding rings

How to wear the wedding ring

After stating your vows and saying “I do” it is time to put the wedding rings on. Just like the engagement ring, usually, people wear them on the ring finger of their left hand. People who wear their engagement ring on their left hand can put it on their right hand before the ceremony. Note that the hand of the wedding ring can also differ between countries, cultures, and religions. Dutch Catholics wear their wedding bands on their left hand (and engagement ring right). Protestants on their right hand (and engagement ring left).

The engagement ring after the wedding

After the wedding, there are basically three things one can do with the engagement ring:

  • Usually, women stack the engagement ring on top of the wedding ring. Often on the ring finger of their left hand;
  • Some decide to wear the wedding ring on their left hand and the engagement ring on their right. Or vice versa of course.
  • Only a few choose to not wear the engagement ring at all anymore.

woman holding the hands of her husband

Stacking or splitting the engagement ring and wedding band

At Royal Coster, we firmly believe in keep wearing the engagement ring. Sure, the chances of damages to the beloved engagement ring are smaller when it’s always safe in a dark box. But it is such a shame to put that beautiful piece away after the engagement period. Therefore, we prefer it to either stack the rings or wear one on each ring finger.

Stacking the wedding ring and engagement ring

Wearing the wedding band and the engagement ring on the same finger can be a very elegant option. Usually, this works best when one ring is quite modest – often the wedding ring – and the other one flashier. For example, a solitaire diamond engagement ring and a simpler (diamond) wedding ring in the same gold look lovely stacked. Another great option is an alliance ring or semi-alliance ring for a wedding band. Stack it with a wonderful halo setting or paved diamond engagement ring and it will look amazing. It is no secret that stacking the love rings on top of each other is popular. For this particular reason, the curved wedding band was invented. This ring is shaped to complement the engagement ring.

curved wedding bands to complement the engagement ring

One band on each hand

Stacking the rings is not always an option. Not all rings match very well. Two wide rings for example. Rings in different colors and styles aren’t always a good combination. When the wedding and engagement ring differ a lot, many women choose to wear one ring on each hand. Most often, the wedding ring is worn on the left hand. The engagement ring is then placed on the right hand. However, this is a matter of personal taste.

pretty bride wearing her engagement ring and wedding ring

Ready to tie the knot

Are you looking for an engagement ring or wedding ring? At Royal Coster Diamonds we have the biggest collection of diamonds in all of Europe. We have a small collection on our website, but feel free to browse. If you’re looking for a specific model, please contact a diamond consultant.  We have almost every setting known to man and if don’t have it, we can make it.

 

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