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What Hand Does An Engagement Ring Go On?

Written by Anna Currell
March 22, 2024

Just got engaged? Congratulations! This is such an exciting time; you have lots of planning to do, a gorgeous new ring, and a lifetime of happiness to look forward to. Of all the thoughts running through your mind, there might be one burning question you have before you share the good news with everyone: what hand does an engagement ring go on? In this article, we’ll walk you through the history of engagement ring placement, explore some popular ways people wear engagement rings, and leave you with advice to find what works best for you. Let’s dive in!

What Hand Does an Engagement Ring Go On?

Typically, an engagement ring will go on the fourth finger of your left hand, also known as the ring finger. However, this rule isn’t set in stone. Like a lot of wedding traditions, the ring finger concept is rooted in years of history, but it doesn’t mean that you have to abide by it. First, let’s take a look at how this tradition came to be.

Engagement ring placement history

The Ancient Romans wore their wedding rings on the ring fingers of their left hands because they believed that there was a vein in this finger connected directly to the heart. The vein was known as the “vena amoris,” which is Latin for “vein of love”. This romantic tradition has remained, even though science has since shown us that all our fingers have veins that lead to the heart. Today, most people don't even know about the history, they're just following tradition. Even though the origins of the practice have mostly faded from public consciousness, it has become the way that most people identify their relationship status in the United States. 

Left Hand vs. Right Hand Placement

While the left ring finger is the most common way to wear an engagement ring in the United States, in many European countries, the ring finger on the right hand is more popular. In some places, couples switch their engagement ring from their left hand to their right hand on their wedding day. It’s ultimately up to you — it can be a matter of cultural significance or just personal preference. 

Other Engagement Ring Placement Options

As you can see, there’s no right or wrong way to wear your engagement ring. In addition to your ring finger on either hand, there are several other placement options you can choose from. Here are a few that you might consider:


  • On your middle finger or first finger: Instead of your ring finger, you can wear your engagement ring on your middle finger or index finger. Wearing your ring on either of these fingers might be more comfortable to you than your ring finger, or you might just want a unique placement.
  • On your pinky finger or thumb: People have worn engagement and wedding rings on all different fingers across history — your pinky finger and thumb are totally fair game! Keep in mind that they will likely be very different sizes than your other fingers, so be sure to measure them appropriately.
  • On a different finger than your wedding band: Traditionally, many people wear their engagement ring and wedding band on the same finger, but you can spread your rings out on different fingers for a more interesting look. Put your wedding band on your ring finger and your engagement ring on your middle finger, for example, to give each ring its own spotlight. 
  • On a necklace: You might find that rings aren’t your thing — maybe they bother your fingers, get in the way of your daily activities, or just aren’t your style. You can still honor your engagement and wear the symbol of your relationship in a totally different way: around your neck. Simply string your ring onto a chain for a creative and practical way to wear your engagement ring (and later, your wedding ring, too). There are even necklaces made specifically for holding rings. 
  • No ring: While jewelry is lovely, you don’t need a ring to seal the deal on your commitment to your partner. In fact, there are plenty of other ways to commemorate your relationship — you can wear other jewelry like necklaces or bracelets, or even get matching tattoos. 


No matter what finger your beautiful engagement ring sits on, be sure to take excellent care of this special sign of your love. We recommend getting your engagement ring professionally cleaned twice a year to prevent damage and keep it sparkling. Get in touch with our team; our jewelers will make sure your jewelry shines as brightly as your relationship does. 

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