Why is the wedding ring worn in the left hand?

If you and your partner are nearing a prospective engagement, chances are you’ve spent a good amount of time eyeing different engagement rings

Maybe you even had a day where you were reconfiguring your daily rings to make way for your new diamond band.

Whatever type of ring you choose, there’s always going to be something consistent about it- and that’s it’s famous placement on the ring finger of the left hand. 

Everyone knows of this long-standing tradition and a large majority continue its existence because it’s all we as Americans have ever known.

But, what many don’t know, is that there is a historical reason why we wear our engagement rings on that specific finger on our left hand and that there are even cultures that traditionally wear their engagement rings on their right hand.  

We here at Lamon Jewelers are eager to give you the inside scoop and share a part of the fascinating history of engagement rings with you.

 

The Left Hand

The western tradition of wearing your wedding bands on your left finger goes further back than you might have previously thought- all the way to the days of Ancient Rome. 

At the time, the Romans believed that a vein ran directly from the fourth finger on the left hand to the heart.

This vein was called Vena Amoris, which translates to ‘vein of love’ because of the belief that the heart is the center of our emotions. 

If one were to wear a ring that represents their passion on this finger, their fate as a couple is sealed and their love eternal. Even after science debunked the existence of this singular connecting vein, the trend became so popular that it turned into a millennia-long tradition. 

 

The Right Hand

Although it’s all we as Americans have ever known, many cultures traditionally wear their marital rings on their right hand, with countries like Russia, Germany, Norway and India being examples. 

For many, this tradition comes from the Latin adjective ‘sinister’ which originally meant ‘left’ before it came to be defined by evil. 

This, on top of the majority of the global population, has been right-handed and the Christian cross being done with the right hand, the left came to be understood as anti-christian, bringing the right-handed engagement ring to fame.

Some countries, like Colombia and Brazil, wear their bands on their right hand and then after completing their vows transfer it over to the left, with the Netherlands and Germany doing the same but in the opposite direction.

Recently, wearing your engagement ring on your right finger has become a sign of modernity and not being defined by tradition. 

Whether you choose to follow tradition or create your own way, our rings at Lamon Jewelers are the perfect way to seal the bond of love. Come on down to our beautiful showroom today.