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On which finger is the engagement ring worn?

Published 1 Jul 2021

Proposing to the woman you love is a very special, romantic moment. It is imperative for you to be fully prepared for this moment, because if your determination and self-confidence wane for just a splitsecond over the question “Which finger does an engagement ring go on?”, your hesitation could raise a glimmer of uncertainty in your beloved’s eyes. To help you prepare, Savicki Jewellers have explored different countries’ engagement ring traditions.

So, which Finger Does an Engagement Ring Go On?

In most countries, engagement rings are placed on the bride-to-be’s ring finger, although there are some exceptions. A Jewish engagement ring is, for example, placed on the index finger or, in some Jewish traditions, the middle finger or thumb of the bride-to-be’s right hand. The main difference between countries is therefore which hand the ring should go on.

Different Countries’ Engagement Ring Traditions

The tradition of giving engagement rings first began in ancient Egypt and was later taken over by the ancient Greeks and Romans, both of which believed that an engagement ring should be worn on the ring finger of the bride-to-be’s left hand because this, the left hand’s so-called cordial or affectionate finger:

  • Is closest to the heart and, (as claimed by the citizens of Hellada)

  • Has an “exceptional” vein (the “Vena Amoris”) in it that carries blood straight to the heart.

Which Finger Does an Engagement Ring Go On?

Over the centuries, this custom became a firm tradition in many different cultures. To this day, men proposing to their loved ones in the UK and Ireland, for example, will place the engagement ring on their beloved’s left hand, as do most men in:

  • France, Sweden and Iceland

  • Finland, Romania and the USA

  • Canada, Australia and New Zealand

  • South Africa (and many other African countries), Turkey and Jordan

  • Mexico, Croatia and Slovenia

  • Several Islamic West and South Asian countries and, of course,

  • Italy and Egypt, where this custom was, after all, originally introduced.

There are, however, also many countries where engagement rings are traditionally placed onto the right hand, including:

  • Poland, Germany and Austria

  • Russia, India and the Netherlands

  • Spain, Norway and Denmark

  • Bulgaria, Serbia and Lithuania

  • Hungary, Venezuela and Brazil

  • Israel and, somewhat surprisingly, Greece

While engagement and wedding rings are not traditionally used in Muslim ceremonies, they are, if used, placed onto the right hand. In some of these countries, wearing engagement rings on the right hand is based on religious beliefs (In Germany, for example, Catholics tend to prefer placing the ring on the bride-to-be’s right hand, whereas Protestants often prefer the left), whereas in others, it is based on a combination of native cultural norms and historical traditions.

The Choice Is Yours

Having said all this, the choice as to which finger or hand to wear an engagement ring is, nonetheless your beloved’s. Some ladies do, for instance, prefer to wear their rings on their “non-dominant” hand so they can perform daily activities without fear of damaging their ring. Others may have their roots in the Jewish culture and may consequently prefer to wear it on their middle finger, index finger or thumb.

Savicki Engagement Rings

Basically, which hand and finger to place an engagement ring on depends on the culture and traditions of the country you grew up in and/or your religious beliefs. Having determined where to place the ring, you obviously also want to find the perfect ring to make your proposal even more special - and a stunningly beautiful, unique Savicki engagement ring is the perfect solution. Why not check out our range right now?

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